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USC recruiting roundup

This past weekend was an important one for the class of 2021, as official written offers could be extended for the first time. USC made a splash thanks to its video and graphics team, and the Trojan coaches sent out a few new offers over the past week.

The first day that official written offers can go out to the current recruiting class is always an interesting one, as it can give a look as to which uncommitted prospects–and prospects committed to other programs–are still being targeted, as well as which USC commits are still being pursued by other programs.

A few uncommitted prospects that posted their official offers from USC included running back Tavierre Dunlap (Del Valle, Tex./Del Valle), wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala (Ewa Beach, Hawaii/James Campbell, two-way linebacker Tiaoalii Savea (Las Vegas/Desert Pines) and offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia (Orem, Utah/Orem).

Suamataia is the big fish left on the offensive side of the ball, as he’s the top offensive tackle in the West region and the No. 58 overall prospect in the nation. Oregon got out to a big lead in this race and the Ducks still look as though they will be difficult to beat, but there isn’t an offensive prospect the Trojans are recruiting harder–or would represent a bigger recruiting win–than the 6-foot-5, 280-pound tackle.

The running back position likely needs another body in this class, to go along with four-star commit Brandon Campbell (Katy, Tex./Katy). USC is scheduled to lose, Stephen Carr, Vavae Malepeai and Quincy Jountti following this season, meaning the Trojans could be left with just Markese Stepp and Kenan Christon in 2021. A graduate transfer is always a possibility and a potential rule change to the transfer process could mean players would not have to sit out following their first transfer, so bodies could be added that way. But it’s clear the USC coaches would like to add a second back in this class.

In-state prospect Byron Cardwell (San Diego/Morse) would be a major win, but the Trojans continue to look out of state as well. Target Logan Diggs (Matairie, La./Archbishop Rummel) announced his commitment to Notre Dame last week, which means Dunlap is one of the few remaining uncommitted targets. He’s previously announced a top eight that consists of Arizona State, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech and Washington.

Mokiao-Atimalala posted official offers from Cal, Hawaii, Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Utah and others, as the two-way standout could excel at either wide receiver or safety for a number of programs. The Trojans already hold commitments from Quay Davis (Dallas/Skyline) and Michael Jackson III (Las Vegas/Desert Pines) as receivers in this class, but after signing just two receivers in the 2020 class, grabbing a third could be seen as a solid addition.

Savea would likely be headed to USC as a defensive lineman, where he’d be another intriguing piece of this class, which is obviously still looking to close with a headliner in No. 1 overall prospect Korey Foreman (Corona, Calif./Centennial).

New Offers Out

USC also sent out a few new offers to future classes over the past week.

The Trojans continue to push hard for offensive linemen in future classes, and offensive line coach Tim Drevno put USC in the mix for a couple of talented linemen in the 2022 class, in Collin Sadler (Greenville, SC/Greenville) and Aliou Bah (Memphis/Whitehaven).

It’s going to be very difficult to beat Clemson for Sadler, though the four-star lineman said he would definitely visit USC once the opportunity presents itself. Bah is a massive tackle, checking in at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, and he is very serious about his interest in the Trojans. He’s another big man who is very likely to spend some time on the USC campus once visits are allowed to take place.

A couple of top skill-position prospects in the 2022 class also received offers from USC.

Five-star athlete Malaki Starks (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) might be one of the top athletes in his class regardless of position or sport. He ran an 11.06 100 meters as a freshman and plays basketball as well. As a sophomore last season, he played quarterback, running back, wide receiver and defensive back. He’s the nation’s No. 16 overall prospect and holds offers from every big-time program.

The Trojans also entered the picture for four-star running back Dillon Tatum (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield). He’s the No. 230 overall prospect in his class and has offers from both Michigan and Michigan State.

USC also extended an offer to 2023 athlete Joenel Aguero (Danvers, Mass./St. John’s Prep). The 6-foot, 170-pound athlete has some big offers already, including Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. USC will continue to push for prospect in the Northeast, led by defensive line coach Vic So’oto, who established himself out in that area during his time at Virginia.

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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