Garry Paskwietz: Erik – it’s been a busy few days in the world of USC recruiting with a 7-on-7 tournament, the Rising Stars Camp and the Elite camp which was held this morning. Let’s talk about the offers that have come out of those events, as there have been several. Go ahead and list who you have with offers.
Erik McKinney: As of right now, we’ve seen five offers claimed by prospects who attended camps. The lone 2019 offer went to wide receiver Sione Vaki (Brentwood, CA/Liberty). In the 2020 class, offers went to wide receiver Kris Hutson from St. John Bosco and running back Jojuan Collins from Narbonne. 2021 wide receiver Beaux Collins (St. John Bosco) and 2022 wide receiver/safety Domani Jackson (Mater Dei) also picked up offers, as did 2021 tight end Jack Yary Murrieta Valley). Collins and Jackson both look like guys we’ll hear plenty about over the coming years, and Yary is the son of USC Outland Trophy winner Ron Yary.
Edit: Shortly after posting this story it was announced via social media that QB Ryan Hilinski has also received an offer.
GP: The Vaki one is interesting, a nice prospect but there are plenty of other wide receivers out there this year. The coaches saw him in the 7-on-7 tourney and obviously liked what they saw. The rest of them were pretty easy to see coming. Those Bosco receivers are different but basically no-brainers in their own way. Collins is one who really impresses with his size. The ones who really jumped out to me were the running backs. Collins has the size that stands out right now, a thick build and moves well. Jackson is the definition of smooth and he’s got the height now and will fill out. It’s not too often you see SC offer a kid before he’s stepped onto a HS campus but you can see why with him. And I’m thrilled to see the Yary offer, I’m guessing the kid can block. The offers also reinforce something you had brought up several weeks ago about the recruiting calendar and how it has changed to the point that these summer camps are no longer in place to evaluate the rising seniors, that process has already taken place and the coaches are well on their way with future classes.
EM: It wasn’t that long ago where you’d expect at least a handful of offers to go out to seniors-to-be at these events, but now it seems the USC-level prospects look at these camps more as an unofficial visit than anything else. There was one offer given out in the 2019 class and it wouldn’t have been that surprising to hear that none had gone out. USC already has around 50 offers extended to the 2020 class and we continue to see the recruiting calendar speed up, as early official visits have hit fast forward for some prospects by another 4-6 months. I have to add, however, that Clay Helton and the USC coaches and recruiting staff seem to be doing a great job of adjusting to the new calendar that the recruits see while staying true to the one they want to operate on. We’ve seen USC build this class very slowly and deliberately so far while other programs gobble up commitments and seem to push the accelerated timeline as a reason to finish the recruiting process even earlier. As seen with the Cameron Williams (photo above) decommitment from Oregon and the fact that USC continues to get their five-star targets on campus and around the staff, the Trojans should continue to receive the benefit of the doubt when it comes to recruiting gameplan.
GP: Williams is a good example and he was at the Elite camp this morning. I think he would make a nice addition to the Trojan DB class this year. It just seems as if Helton and staff are in a real good spot right now with how they are handling recruiting, and like you say, even if kids aren’t participating in the camps they are coming by (we saw guys like Jonah Tauanu’u, Jason Rodriguez, Drake Jackson and Chris Steele at Rising Stars even though they weren’t taking part. Of course, I was glad to see one of my favorite recruits out there today in 2020 LB Justin Flowe, I love the way he plays the game. And of course we have an official visit weekend coming up on the 22nd and that will be one last push on recruiting before the coaches take some time off in July, and then camp starts in June. Thanks Erik, we will do this again next week to break down how things look on the offensive side of the ball for the class of 2019. Talk to you then.