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Trojans Signing Day Preview

USC is looking to add a few more pieces to its 2019 recruiting class, as the Trojans come off an official visit weekend hosting five prospects and head into Wednesday’s signing day with several targets still on the board.

The first step toward the finish line is scheduled to come Tuesday, as safety Jayden Williams (Corona, Calif./Centennial) said he will release a commitment video then (though he could still certainly wait until Wednesday to announce). Williams is down to USC and Washington, and is coming off official visits to both schools over the past two weekends. USC looks to be in fairly good shape for Williams, as the Trojans are poised to potentially pile up a few defensive back commitments in the coming days.

One of those potential defensive backs is Dorian Hewett (Houston/North Shore), who announced Tuesday morning that he won’t wait until signing day to reveal his commitment. Hewett said he is down to Syracuse (where he was once committed), USC, and Washington, though the Trojans again look like the clear frontrunners here.

On signing day, all eyes will be on USC’s two committed wide receivers, as Kyle Ford (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran) and Puka Nacua (Orem, Utah/Orem) are unsigned and have been subjects of rumored flips. There is plenty of chatter at this point that late visits to Oregon and Washington have made big impressions on Nacua, and the talented receiver could be headed to the Pacific Northwest. If that happens, keeping Ford in this class will be even more important, as losing those two in addition to Bru McCoy would devastate what could have been a phenomenal class of wide receivers. At this point, it would be a little surprising to see Ford sign elsewhere, though just about everything can and has happened on signing day.

As for uncommitted prospects, the day for USC should get started around 8:00 AM, when Corona Centennial’s signing day event is scheduled to take place. In addition to defensive end Drake Jackson, who signed with USC during the early signing period, and Williams, USC is also in the mix for Centennial outside linebacker Tuasivi Nomura. He’s an intriguing defender and could wind up at several spots at USC. The Trojans appear to be the clear favorites at this point.

Arkansas cornerback commit Adonis Otey (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Blackman) is scheduled to  announce his final decision at 8:15 AM. Arkansas, Ole Miss, and USC are all in the picture for him and the Trojans hosted him on an official visit in late January.

Offensive linemen will start coming off the board at that point, as Enokk Vimahi (Kahuku, Hawaii/Kahuku) will announce between Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC at 9:30 AM. Vimahi plans to take a two-year mission trip following his freshman season, but adding another offensive lineman to this class and even just having him on the practice field for a year would still qualify as a big recruiting win. Then, offensive tackle Hunter Hill (Orem, Utah/Orem) is scheduled to announce at 11:30 AM, and Dawand Jones (Indianapolis/Ben Davis) will announce at 3:30 PM. Hill looks likely to be a Trojan, while Jones would be a massive (6-foot-8, 360 pounds) surprise.

Also in the surprise category would be running back Keilan Robinson (Washington, D.C./St. John’s College), an Alabama commitment who took an official visit to USC this past weekend.

Overall, this won’t be the recruiting class that USC fans have become accustomed to over the years, as it will be the lowest-ranked USC recruiting class in some time. There are some massive misses and recruits headed all over the Pac-12 who would be signing with USC following anything other than a 5-7 season and facing both coaching upheaval and coaching questions.

Ultimately, Wednesday will likely show that USC still has some draw and some life left when it undoubtedly wins a few recruiting battles. Exactly how much draw remains to be seen, as a few big wins could go a long way toward easing some of the criticism. But realistically, the bulk of this class is going to eventually prove just what kind of evaluators this USC staff is, as there could be double-digit signees hoping to qualify as that late-blooming diamond in the rough.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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