Not a class to be thankful for
Here’s a Thanksgiving question. Is this recruiting class one to be thankful for?
No and here’s why. USC’s 2019 class would likely be one of the best in the nation if the Trojans had a different coaching staff. Looking at all the elite West Coast prospects USC whiffed on this year, it isn’t hard to come to that conclusion.
Reno, Nevada Damonte Ranch HS Quarterback Cade McNamara grew up a fan of USC. But he’s leaving the West Coast for Michigan. He’s likely in this class with a different coaching staff. The same goes for another Michigan commit in Westlake Village Oaks Christian HS tailback Zach Charbonnet.
Other running backs are worth mentioning as well. Another staff could flip Upland HS product Cameron Davis from Washington to USC. Sean Dollars wasn’t given a commitable offer, but he’s needed now and this staff doesn’t have a chance to change his mind on his Oregon pledge. Cerritos, Calif.’s Micah Bernard can also relate to the Dollars story.
Folsom, Calif. HS receiver Joseph Ngata is leaving California for Clemson. Calabasas, Calif. HS WR Mycah Pittman ignored the fact that his own brother plays at USC to choose Oregon. Scottsdale, Ariz. Notre Dame Prep HS WR Jake Smith plans to travel further away from home to attend Texas, much like tight end Brayden Liebrock, a fellow Longhorn pledge.
What about Harbor City, Calif. Narbonne HS offensive tackle Jonah Tauanu’u? He’s leaving home for Oregon. USC will also lose two other tackle prospects to another Pacific Northwest rival in Washington that they should have had a shot at. Those prospects would be Troy Fautanu of Liberty HS in Henderson, Nevada. and Pleasant Hill, Calif. Diablo Valley College’s Corey Luciano.
Guess what everyone? All those misses are just on offense.
On defense, we add Las Vegas Bishop Gorman DE Treven Ma’ae, Mountain View HS St. Francis DE Joshua Pakola and Glendale, Ariz. Sandra Day O’Connor DE Bralen Trice to the list of West Coast prospects who have spurned USC. Sama Paama and Faatui Tuitele are two Hawaiian defensive tackles USC needed and both picked Washington over USC. Mater Dei HS DT Keyon Ware-Hudson picked Oregon over USC as did his teammate, linebacker Mase Funa.
Speaking of local linebackers, De’Gabriel Floyd is a former USC commit who attends Westlake HS. He plans to sign with Texas. Other West Coast linebacker targets who spurned USC are Danville, Calif. San Ramon Valley HS’s Tristan Sinclair, Honolulu Punahou HS’s Marist Liufau and Carlsbad, Calif.’s Asa Turner.
Lancaster, Calif. Antelope Valley HS cornerback Mykael Wright committed to Oregon over USC and Carmichael, Calif. Jesuit HS corner Isaiah Rutherford committed to Notre Dame over USC. It also doesn’t feel like this staff has a chance to flip Westlake HS cornerback Kamren Fabiculan from his pledge to Washington.
Three safeties from California have also spurned USC for other schools in Chris Adimora, Jeremiah Criddell and Cameron Williams.
Guess what everyone? That was just a list of prospects who have already made a commitment. I didn’t include likely future misses such as quarterback Jayden Daniels, tight end Isaiah Foskey, offensive tackle Enokk Vimahi, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, defensive tackle Siaki Ika, linebackers Daniel Hemuli and Henry To’oto’o and cornerbacks Chris Steele and Noa Pola-Gates.
I also didn’t include a few prospects out of the kindness of my heart.
I didn’t include Ryan Hillinski because I gave the USC staff the benefit of the doubt considering everything that family went through. I didn’t include Braedin Huffman-Dixon because he was given a non-commitable offer, even though he would be one of the top players in USC’s 2019 class now. Something similar could be said Giles Jackson because USC didn’t decide they really wanted him until it was too late. So I left him out too. I left out Michael Martinez because USC got their two higher priority tight end targets in Ethan Rae and Jude Wolfe. I left out Jordan Morgan because USC started trying to flip hm late an the same goes for fellow Arizona pledge Chris Roland. Jordan Patterson because I don’t blame USC for that personally, as was Don Chapman, a former Colorado commit who almost certainly won’t pick USC now.
Don’t forget that some of the commits don’t seem too committed either. Jordan Wilmore and Jason Rodriguez took visits to other schools. We also have sources tell us Puka Nacua and Maninoa Tufono could potentially flip. Trey Davis even told us himself that his family wants him at Washington State over USC.
If after all of this, you still believe USC will finish strong and sign an impressive class, more power to you. I will say this though:
I would pick against USC in regards to Kyle Ford, Bru McCoy Trent McDuffie and Stephon Wright. I also think Satatoa Laumea, Laiatu Latu, Matthew Pola-Mao, Sean Rhyan, and Ty Robinson are all 50-50 battles.
Even if USC added all those guys and a few more that are expected to be in (like Drake Jackson), it wouldn’t be enough to make anyone thankful for this staff’s recruiting efforts.