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Recruiting Notebook: Daniels leads Mater Dei to title

It was a big weekend for JT Daniels and the Mater Dei Monarchs as they completed a perfect 14-0 regular season with a victory over the St. John Bosco Braves in the CIF-SS finals. It was the final stamp on a season where Mater Dei was looking to get over the hump against Bosco, who had established themselves as the top team in the Trinity League in recent years, and there was no better way to end it for the first MD title since 1999.

The Monarchs will play De La Salle on December 16th for the State D1 title.

Daniels put up his usual stats against Bosco with 19 of 26 passes for 300 yards and five touchdowns, including a pair of scores to Bru McCoy and 8 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown for Amon-Ra St. Brown, who did it while wearing USC gloves during the game.

There has also been a lot of buzz surrounding JT lately and the possibility that he could look to reclassify into the class of 2018. So far there hasn’t been any sort of confirmation that this is a possibility but we’re hearing from multiple sources that the wheels are in motion to try and make it happen.

As far as the Trojans are concerned, it is notable that there doesn’t appear to be a current pursuit of another 2018 QB. There was definitely interest at one point in bringing one in, first with the verbal from Matt Corral and then the quick call to Jack Tuttle and brief dalliance with Justin Fields, but ever since Fields committed to Georgia there haven’t been any real rumblings of anyone else. In recent weeks there had been some chatter about Shea Patterson, and there has been mutual interest in the past between Patterson and USC, but right now those rumor winds appear headed to Michigan.

The thought of bringing in a grad transfer or experienced veteran would seem to make sense for USC, either as another potential back-up for Sam in 2018 or an option as a starter in case Sam leaves, but if you have the chance to bring in a guy like Daniels early there is merit to that thought as well. This guy is a very sharp football mind and advanced for his class level so it wouldn’t be a huge adjustment for him to get a head start on the Trojan playbook as soon as possible.

It’s also important to remember that we’ve seen this once before with John David Booty, who was able to leave high school a year early in order to be at USC in time for fall camp 2003. The thought was that Booty would be able to compete for the job against newly installed starter Matt Leinart, but John David ended up waiting on the bench three years for that one, and then went on to win two Rose Bowls.


With the news that the Trojans will be playing Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl there is certainly a recruiting angle as well with multiple high priority recruits who are considering both schools:

OT Jackson Carman: Ranked as the top offensive lineman in the country and currently resides in the state of Ohio, where most top recruits end up at Ohio State. But Carman definitely hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind during the recruiting process in a way that has raised some controversy in Columbus, so you can’t rule out his long-held interest in USC or Clemson.

LB Solomon Tuliaupupu: Another member of the CIF championship Mater Dei team, and winner of the Butkus Award for the top HS linebacker, Solomon has long appeared headed to the Trojans but schools like Ohio State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma continue to be in the mix.

LB Palaie Gaoteote: The #1 ranked inside linebacker in the country and a seemingly solid commit to the Trojans since spring, the Buckeyes are coming hard with the help of some former Bishop Gorman players on the Ohio State roster, and Palaie will take an official visit to Columbus this weekend.

DB Jaiden Woodbey: Currently a commit to Ohio State, the #2 safety in the country has been a regular presence at USC games this season and has a lot of local peers on the USC roster.


With the cornerback spot always being a top priority there was the news last week that Isaac Taylor-Stuart, the highly-ranked corner from CIF-SD champion Helix, has scheduled an official visit to USC on January 12th.

Taylor-Stuart will have already visited Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M.

Taylor-Stuart and Helix will face Oaks Christian this weekend in the CIF-state semi-finals.

There will also be a state semi’s match-up of USC commits in the game between Paraclete (WR Andre Hunt) and Narbonne (LB Raymond Scott) on Saturday.

Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.

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