The Trojans got news of a verbal commitment over the weekend and while it didn’t come from one of the 2015 prospects on hand for an official visit, it did come from one of the most versatile athletes in the class of 2016.
Mique Juarez is a 6-3, 210 pound quarterback/linebacker at North Torrance who is expected to play on the defensive side of the ball for the Trojans. He has very good football instincts and pursuit ability, along with the ability to make good contact when he arrives at the ballcarrier.
USC was long said to be his childhood favorite but there were also offers from schools such as UCLA, Washington, Cal, Oregon State and BYU. Juarez decided to end the process last week during a visit with the USC coaches and he gave his verbal commit.
Juarez is another example of the kind of athlete the Trojans are looking to target at the linebacker spot. Speed is one element that is consistent in players such as John Houston, Osa Masina and Porter Gustin, while Cameron Smith brings better-than-expected speed for a “run stuffer” as well. Along with speed, there is a consistent physical presence.
Many USC fans want to remember the days of Maualuga, Cushings, Matthews and others roaming the linebacker spot and it’s easy to compare the incoming targets to having similar potential, at least based on what those players were coming out of high school.
Juarez becomes the 3rd verbal commit for the Trojans in the class of 2016, following DE/TE Isaac Garcia and LB Daelin Hayes.