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O/NSO: Class of 2019 recruiting special edition

The Obvious:  After two separate signing months, December and February, the Trojans recruiting Class of 2019, barring any last-minute additions, is finally complete.

The Not So Obvious: You really do need a scorecard these days to sort out the early 2019 spring and fall enrollees. However, leave it to the O/NSO to help figure things out as we present the Class of 2019 with what you know, may not know, or just plain don’t know. Recruiting ratings are based on a top 300 model. The Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking is the combined average of 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals along with the USA TODAY Chosen 25.

The Obvious: An early spring enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Briton Allen (6-0, 185) from Orlando, Florida (IMG Academy).

The Not So Obvious: Briton wore No. 25 at IMG Academy, a Trojans’ number currently available. Did you know other notable IMG Academy alumni include Bo Scarbrough (football), Lee Mazzilli (baseball), and Jonathan Isaac (basketball)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #205, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking (247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals along with the USA TODAY Chosen 25): NR

Honors: 2018 Prepstar All-Southeast Region

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive lineman Dejon Benton (6-3, 285) from Oakland, Calif. (Pittsburgh HS).

The Not So Obvious: Benton wore No. 79 at Pittsburgh, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available. Did you know that other notables from Pittsburgh High include Lionel Aldridge, John Henry Johnson, Ken Simonton, Joe Tafoya, Altie Taylor and Regan Upshaw (football), Eddie Hart (Olympic god medalist), Richard Poe (actor)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NA

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed running back Kenan Christon (5-10, 185/photo above) from San Diego, Calif. (Madison HS).

The Not So Obvious: Christon wore No. 10 at Madison, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by quarterback Jack Sears. Did you know that other notables from Madison High include Major Garrett (CBS news), actor Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Mike Martz (NFL football coach), Rich Tylski (NFL)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, All-CIF San Diego first team

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Trey Davis (6-0, 185) from Federal Way, Washington (Federal Way HS).

The Not So Obvious: Davis wore No. 5 at Federal Way, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available. Did you know that notable Federal Way High alumni include Shaun Bodiford (NFL), Lake Dawson (NFL), Travis Ishikawa and Dan Spillner (MLB), Donny Marshall (NBA) Kyle Secor (actor)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NA

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: PrepStar All-Western Region, Tacoma News Tribune Northwest Nuggets Best of the Rest

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive lineman Nick Figueroa (6-5, 270) from San Bernardino, Calif. (Riverside CC/Cajon HS/Cal Poly).

The Not So Obvious: Figueroa wore No. 99 at Riverside CC, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available. Did you know that other notables from Riverside CC include Jess Hill (former USC football coach and athletic director), Will Smith and Charles Tuaau (NFL), Sharon Jordan (Disney actress)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #24

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar JC All-American, 2018 All-Southern California Football Association National Southern League Defensive Player of the Year.

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed wide receiver Kyle Ford (6-2, 210) from Orange, California (Lutheran HS).

The Not So Obvious: Ford wore No. 81 at Orange Lutheran, a Trojans’ offensive number currently available. Did you know that prominent Orange Lutheran alumni include Cole Winn, Garrett Cole, Jason Martin, Brandon Maurer (MLB), Austin Pettis (NFL), Aaron Corp (college football)?

National Ranking: Scout #31, Rivals #65, ESPN 300 #57, 247 #38

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: No. 38

Honors: 2018 PrepStar Dream Team, Tacoma News Tribune Top 100, OC Register Fab 15

The Obvious: An early spring enrollee, the Trojans signed linebacker Ralen Goforth (6-2, 225) from Long Beach, Calif. (St. John Bosco HS).

The Not So Obvious: Goforth wore No. 10 at St John Bosco, a Trojans’ defensive number currently worn by linebacker John Houston Jr. Did you know that other St. John Bosco High notables include Chad Allen (actor), Patrick Cowan, Tim DeRuyter, Todd Husak, Leon McFadden, Josh Rosen (football), Nomar Garciaparra, Dennis Lamp (baseball)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, All-CIF Division 1

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed Ben Griffiths (6-5, 230) from Australia.

The Not So Obvious: Did you know that Griffiths is 27-year-old and a former Australian Football League performer who retired from the AFL after a series of concussions.

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Dorian Hewett (6-0, 180) from Houston, Texas (North Shore HS).

The Not So Obvious: Hewett wore No. 10 at North Shore, a Trojans defensive number currently worn by linebacker John Houston Jr. Did you know that notable North Shore High alum alumni include Andre Gurode, Cory Redding, Chykie Brown, Matt Conerly, Earl Mitchell, Dorance Armstrong Jr. (NFL), Tiffany Bolton (actress), Johnathan Motley and Joe Stephens (NBA), John Bundrick (The Who)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 # NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Midlands Region, All-District 21-6A first team

The Obvious: An early spring enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive lineman/outside linebacker Drake Jackson (6-4, 260) from Corona, Calif. (Centennial HS).

The Not So Obvious: Jackson wore No. 99 at Centennial, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available. Did you know that other notable Centennial High alumni include Lonnie Paxton, Taylor Martinez Vontaze Burfict Brandon Magee, Will Sutton (NFL) and Ike Anigbogu (NBA)?

National Ranking: Scout #52, Rivals #38, ESPN 300 #142, 247 #56

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: No. 58

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-American, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Division 1, OC Register Fab 15 first team, Los Angeles Times All-Area, 2018 All-Big Vlll League Co-MVP

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed offensive lineman Tilini Livai (6-3, 300) from Torrance, Calif. (Narbonne HS).

The Not So Obvious: Livai wore No. 54 at Narbonne, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by offensive tackle Jalen McKenzie. Did you know that other prominent Narbonne High alumni include Marc Brown (ABC Los Angeles), Nnamdi Asomugha, Dashon Goldson, Tom Graham, Brandon Manumaleuna, Marcus O’Keith and Uchenna Nwosu (NFL), Jeff Denman (MLB), Bill Sharman (NBA), Bo Derek (actress), Quentin Tarantino (director/actor)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NA

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, All-L.A. City Offensive Lineman of the Year, South Bay Daily Breeze All-Area first team

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed wide receiver Drake London (6-5, 205) from Moorpark, Calif. (Moorpark HS).

The Not So Obvious: London wore No. 2 at Moorpark, an Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by wide receiver Devon Williams. Did you know that other Moorpark High alumni include Dennis Pitta, Greg Estandia, Chastin West, Chad Hansen (NFL), Kelli Berglund (actress)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #229, ESPN 300 #277, 247 #267

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-American, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal -Hi Sports All-State third team, All-CIF Division 3, All-Camino League Co-Wide Receiver of the Year

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed safety Kaulana Makaula (6-3, 190) from Honolulu, Hawaii (Punahou School).

The Not So Obvious: Makaula wore No. 18 at Punahou, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available. Did you know that prominent notable alumni include Did you know that notable Punahou School alumni include Barack Obama (president of the United State), Mosi Tatupu, Manti Te’o (NFL), Norm Chow (football coach), Teri Ann Linn, Joan Blondell (actress), Buster Crabbe (Olympian), Bob Shane (co-founder of the singing group The Kingston Trio), Carrie Ann Inaba (judge on Dancing with the Stars)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 USA Today All-Hawaii second team, PrepStar All-Western Region, Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State second team.

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed wide receiver Munir McClain (6-4, 210) from San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (JSerra Catholic HS).

The Not So Obvious: McClain wore No. 11 at JSerra, a Trojans’ offensive number currently available. Did you know that notable JSerra High alumni include Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (daughter of Albert ll, Prince of Monaco), Austin Hedges,Royce Lewis (MLB), and Dante Pettis (NFL)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, OC Register All-Orange County second team

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed linebacker/defensive back Tuasivi Nomura (6-1, 210) from Corona, Calif. (Centennial HS).

The Not So Obvious: Nomura wore No. 9 at Centennial, a Trojans’ number currently worn by defensive back Greg Johnson. Did you know that notable Centennial High alum alumni include (see Drake Jackson).

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 # NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, All-CIF Division 1

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Adonis Otey (6-1, 180), from Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Blackman HS).

The Not So Obvious: Otey wore No. 1 at Blackman, a Trojans’ defensive number currently worn by linebacker Palaie Gaoteote. Did you know that notable Blackman High alum alumni include David Price, major league baseball pitcher?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 # NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Southeast Region, Tennessean All-Midstate second team, All-Region 3-6A Athlete of the Year

The Obvious: An early spring enrollee, the Trojans signed offensive/defensive lineman Gino Quinones (6-3, 280) from Ewa Beach, Hawaii (Saint Louis HS).

The Not So Obvious: Quinones wore No. 44 at Saint Louis, a Trojans’ offensive and defensive number currently available Did you know that other notable Saint Louis High alumni include Tua Tagovailoa (college football) Marcus Mariota, Benny Agbayani, Brandon League (MLB), Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala, Olin Kreutz, Dominic Raiola (NFL), Chad Santos (MLB), Dean Pitchford (Oscar and Golden Glove Award winner)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NA

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State first team, USA Today All-Hawaii second team

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed tight end Ethan Rae (6-5, 240) from Anaheim Hills, Calif. (Orange Lutheran HS).

The Not So Obvious: Rae wore No. 88 at Orange Lutheran, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe. Did you know that prominent Orange Lutheran alumni include (see Kyle Ford)

National Rankings: Scout# NR Rivals #NR ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-American, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed offensive lineman Jason Rodriguez (6-6, 325) from Oak Hills, Calif. (Oak Hills HS).

The Not So Obvious: Rodriguez wore No.75 at Oak Hills, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. Did you know that notable Oak Hills High is in the Mojave Desert north of the Cajon Summit of Cajon Pass, southwest of Hesperia, and east of Phelan? Oak Hills sits at an elevation of 3,799 feet. According to the US Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 24.4 square miles, all of it land.

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #288, 247 #273

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar Dream Team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-California first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Medium Schools first team, All-CIF Division 4, San Bernardino Sun/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin All-Area first team, All-Mojave River League first team

The Obvious: An early spring enrollee, the Trojans signed quarterback Kedon Slovis (6-2, 185) from Scottsdale, Arizona (Desert Mountain HS).

The Not So Obvious: Slovis wore No. 7 at Desert Mountain, an offensive Trojans’ offensive number currently tailback Stephen Carr. Did you know that other notable Desert Mountain High alumni include Kyle Allen and Tyeler Davison (NFL), Austin Davis (MLB), Arie Luyendyk Jr. (The Bachelor), Heather Morris (actress on Glee)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, USA Today All-Arizona honorable mention, Sports360AZ All-Academic honorable mention

The Obvious: An early spring enrollee, the Trojans signed linebacker Stanley Ta’ufo’ou (6-3, 255) from Simi Valley, Calif. (Grace Brethren HS).

The Not So Obvious: Ta’ufo’ou wore No. 42 at Grace Brethren High, a Trojans’ defensive number currently worn by linebacker Abdul-Malik McClain. Did you know that prominent Grace Brethren alumni include Ricky Elmore (NFL), Chad Kackert (CFL), Noah Bean (UNLV football), Olivia Hynes (All-America swimmer).

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, All-CIF Division 4 Defensive Player of the Year,All-Camino League Defensive Lineman of the Year, All-Camino League Defensive Lineman of the Year

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed linebacker Maninoa Tufono (6-3, 235) from Halawa, Hawaii (Punahou School).

The Not So Obvious: Tufono wore No. 5 at Punahou School, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available. Did you know that notable Punahou High alumni include (see Kaulana Makaula)

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #149, ESPN 300 #119, 247 #195

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar Dream Team/ Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-Hawaii second team, Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State second team

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Jaylen Watson (6-3, 190) from Augusta, Georgia (Ventura CC).

The Not So Obvious: Watson wore No. 1 at Ventura CC, a Trojans’ defensive number currently worn by linebacker Palaie Gaoteote. Did you know that notable Ventura CC alumni include Miguel Angel Garcia (boxing), Cedric Ceballos, Rafer Alston (NBA), Brook Jacoby, Zack Thornton (MLB), Jan-Michael Vincent (actor)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #272

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 JC Athletic Bureau All-American first team, PrepStar JC All-American

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Jayden Williams (6-1, 195) from Corona, California (Centennial HS).

The Not So Obvious: Williams wore No. 8 at Centennial High, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available. Did you know that notable Centennial High alumni include (see Drake Jackson).

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #NR, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #NR

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: NR

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, All-Big Vlll League Co-MVP

The Obvious: An early enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Max Williams (5-9, 175) from Carson, Calif. (Gardena Serra HS).

The Not So Obvious: Williams wore No.5 at Serra, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available. Did you know that other notable Serra alumni Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, Kris Richard, Adoree’ Jackson, Dion figures, Paul Richardson, Joe Cormier, George Farmer (NFL), Kerry Boagni (NBA)?

National Ranking: Scout #NR, Rivals #147, ESPN 300 #183, 247 #173

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: No. 194

Honors: 2018 PrepStar Dream Team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100

The Obvious: An early spring enrollee, the Trojans signed tight end Jude Wolfe (6-5, 250) from Laguna Hills, Calif. (Bellflower St. John Bosco HS).

The Not So Obvious: Wolfe wore No. 18 at St. John Bosco, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by quarterback JT Daniels. Did you know that prominent St. John Bosco High alumni are notable (see Ralen Goforth)?

National Ranking: Scout #151, Rivals #239, ESPN 300 #NR, 247 #240

Composite USA Today recruiting services ranking: No. 217

Honors: 2018 PrepStar All-American, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100

The Obvious: And finally, on paper, this is Clay Helton’s least impressive recruiting class as Trojans’ head coach.

The Not So Obvious: However, recruiting classes on paper don’t always translate to what happens on the playing field. We’ll know in a couple of seasons whether the Class of 2019 was a disappointment or if it was vastly underrated.



Greg Katz
Author
Greg Katz

A longtime WeAreSC columnist, Greg began his affiliation with WeAreSC in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football staff writer covering USC, is also is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and is a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.


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