The early signing period has taken just about all the excitement out of February’s traditional signing day, but February 6 is closing in and USC coaches are looking to put the finishing touches on the 2019 recruiting class.
Here is a look at where things stand, less than a week from signing day.
Recruits who have already signed
Kedon Slovis (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) – 6-2, 185 (Early enrollee)
Kenan Christon (San Diego/Madison) – 5-10, 185
Drake London (Moorpark, Calif./Moorpark) – 6-5, 205
Munir McClain (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./JSerra) – 6-4, 210
Jude Wolfe (Laguna Hills, Calif./St. John Bosco) – 6-5, 250 (Early enrollee)
Ethan Rae (Anaheim Hills, Calif./Orange Lutheran) – 6-5, 240
Gino Quinones (Ewa Beach, Hawaii/Saint Louis) – 6-3, 280 (Early enrollee, potential DL)
Tilini Livai (Torrance, Calif./Narbonne) – 6-3, 300
Jason Rodriguez (Oak Hills, Calif./Oak Hills) – 6-6, 325
Drake Jackson (Corona, Calif./Centennial) – 6-4, 260 (Early enrollee)
Nick Figueroa (San Bernardino, Calif./Riverside CC) – 6-5, 275
Dejon Benton (Oakland, Calif./Pittsburg) – 6-3, 285
Stanley Ta’ufo’ou (Simi Valley, Calif./Grace Bretheren) – 6-3, 255 (Early enrollee)
Ralen Goforth (Long Beach, Calif./St. John Bosco) – 6-2, 225 (Early enrollee)
Maninoa Tufono (Halawa, Hawaii/Punahou) – 6-3, 235
Briton Allen (Orlando, Fla./IMG Academy) – 6-0, 185 (Early enrollee)
Max Williams (Carson, Calif./Serra) – 5-9, 175 (Early enrollee)
Trey Davis (Federal Way, Wash./Federal Way) – 6-0, 185
Kyle Ford (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran) – 6-2, 212
Puka Nacua (Orem, Utah/Orem) – 6-2, 190
Kaulana Makaula (Honolulu/Punahou) – 6-3, 190
Jaylen Watson (Augusta, Ga./Ventura College) – 6-2, 195
What’s on tap this weekend?
It looks as though there will be at least three official visitors on campus this weekend and the Trojans actually could be in pretty good shape for those three.
The offensive line has been a series of swings and misses throughout this recruiting class, but USC has some momentum with Hunter Hill (Orem, Utah/Orem) after extending a recent offer and moving quickly to get him on campus this weekend. Hill is a Washington State commitment, so he obviously registers as an Air Raid tackle, especially at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds. Signing five offensive linemen in this class was thought to be a given at the beginning of the cycle, but with the possibility that Quinones could play defense, there are still plenty of available spots here.
The Trojans could also keep some momentum going with defensive backs, as Jayden Williams (Corona, Calif./Centennial) will be on campus. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety has generated some late attention with offers from Oregon and USC, and is coming off an official visit to Washington. With the ability to offer a thin depth chart and Williams growing up a USC fan, the Trojans should have a good shot here.
USC is also scheduled to host linebacker Tuasivi Nomura (Corina, Calif./Centennial) this weekend. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Nomura is a very intriguing defensive player, as he could eventually line up at any level of the defense. He has the athleticism to perhaps start at safety, but also the physical ability to stick at linebacker or perhaps bulk up and rush the quarterback from the outside.
And then what?
In terms of committed prospects, it’s all about hanging onto wide receivers Kyle Ford and Puka Nacua. Ford looks like he is going to settle into this class after a big push from Oregon, and that shouldn’t be overlooked, as he will be a massive addition following the departure of Bru McCoy. With Nacua, it looks as though it could be a real battle with Washington, Oregon, UCLA, and Utah all in the picture.
Outside of those wide receivers, it’s no secret that defensive backs and offensive linemen will dominate the discussion between now and signing day. With 18 recruits signed and four verbally committed, that leaves six or seven spots that USC can fill, and it wouldn’t be surprising if every new addition was along the line or in the secondary.
Hill might be the most likely addition among offensive linemen, but arguably the biggest prospect still on the table is offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi (Kahuku, Hawaii/Kahuku). Vimahi has long been thought of as a USC lean, but Ohio State and Oklahoma continue to push heavily and he took official visits to both programs in January. USC also continues to pursue 6-foot-8, 360-pound offensive tackle Dawand Jones (Indianapolis/Ben Davis), though Ohio State still appears to be the big favorite there.
In addition to Williams and Nomura as potential defensive backs, USC will try to flip Arkansas commit Adonis Otey (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Blackman), who took a recent official visit to USC. And head coach Clay Helton had an in-home visit with former Syracuse commitment Dorian Hewett (Houston, Tex./North Shore) this week, so that is another name to keep an eye on.