by Garry Paskwietz
The Opening finals will be held this week in Oregon and as usual there will be plenty of Trojan recruiting talent taking part. Here’s a position-by-position look at some of the top names on the USC wish list that we will be following:
Jack Sears will be the primary target of interest as an uncommitted quarterback in this setting but we will also be keeping an eye on Tua Tagovailoa, the current commit to Alabama. For Sears, it will be a chance to continue the rise he’s been on this spring and to prove he belongs as one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
There might not be a two-player comparison I want to make more this week than Stephen Carr and Najee Harris. Both are considered among the elite at their position although for slightly different reasons. Carr is the pure running back, a guy with terrific instincts, while Harris has the overpowering physical measurements that allow him to stand out on the field. Carr is currently a Trojan commit but Tommie Robinson continues to build a relationship with Harris as well.
It will be a trio of local receivers leading the way with Joseph Lewis and Tyjon Lindsey for the class of 2017, and Jalen Hall for 2018. These three are all legit, and while they all have the Trojans in consideration there are still plenty of other suitors to worry about.
The Trojans already have one tight end commit in the class and this will be a chance to see one of the remaining priorities in Josh Falo. Josh is long and lean, definitely more of a pass-catching threat than a run-blocking option at this point.
This is not a big year for USC o-line commits at the event. Alex Leatherwood from Florida, a commit to Alabama, took in the Trojan Rising Stars Camp a few weeks ago but still appears solid with the Tide.
The d-line group, as opposed to the o-line, will offer a nice look at two of the primary interior linemen on the Trojan wish list in Greg Rogers and Jay Tufele (photo of duo above). We had a chance to see this pair in action together at the northern California edition of the Opening camp and they were as good as advertised. Of course, it’s one thing to do it at a west coast camp and yet another to stand out in the middle of the line when the rest of the country shows up, including the always impressive group from the southeast.
We’ll be watching Addison Gumbs, a player who has shown USC interest in the past, as the Trojans will likely only take one more backer in this class.
There is a lot to like in this group. First off you have Bubba Bolden, one of only two Trojan commits in the event. You also have two of the elite corners at the top of the wish list in Jaylon Johnson and Darnay Holmes. There has long been mutual interest with Johnson but Holmes has only been giving the Trojans more of a look lately. I’m also looking forward to seeing Arizona commit Greg Johnson, a physical corner who is still being pursued by USC, as well as Salvon Ahmed (who could see time at RB too) and Thomas Graham.