Tuesday, December 19, 2006

USC: Future is Bright, No Hype Needed

It may have been raining in L.A. this past weekend, but the outlook was bright for USC Football.

According to the buzz-makers over at wearesc.com, USC enjoyed a "huge recruiting weekend," fresh off the buzz of a verbal commitment from Kristofer O’Dowd, who is listed as the nation’s No. 1-ranked center at Scouts.com and a few other “expert” sites.

Still, it was on the field where the Trojans’ future shown brightest Saturday night in the CIF high school “bowl” games at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. According to the Los Angeles Times:
In separate games Saturday, the best high school football team in the state and the best high school football quarterback in the nation supposedly were on the field […], but those focusing on Concord De La Salle and Westlake Village Oaks Christian's Jimmy Clausen might have been watching the wrong games.

Orange Lutheran and quarterback Aaron Corp [above] turned the Division II CIF State Championship Bowl Game against Palo Alto into a showcase event, resulting in a 42-28 victory.

Corp, headed for USC, repeatedly burned Palo Alto's defense. He rushed 11 times for 136 yards, including touchdowns of 31 and 52 yards, and passed for four touchdowns […]
Meanwhile, Clausen had his worst performance of the season, throwing three interceptions in a 27-20 sub-par victory over Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman in the Division III game.

Ever since Clausen fanned the flames his own over-hyped existence to announce (at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, no less) his commitment to Charlie Weis (and by “commitment” we mean … well, we can’t be sure what that means), several “experts” have said that perhaps USC got the better player.

Apparently, Clausen’s own teammates are thinking the same thing. Oaks Christian running back Mark Tyler, who took over Clausen’s spot as the No. 1 prospect in the nation earlier this season, and safety Marshall Jones, a top-10 recruit in his own right, who took over at running back after Tyler was hurt a few weeks ago, are both heading to USC.

As for Corp, it turns out his Orange Lutheran team could have dominated its game even more if fellow USC-bound teammate Michael Reardon, a “four-star” defensive end (with a 3.9 GPA and a 1510 SAT) hadn’t been injured the previous week.

We know that none of this stuff is a science, and there are no guarantees for USC Football three or four years down the line. But something tells us that the Trojans will be in good hands when the likes of Corp, Tyler, Jones, et al., get their chance to compete on Howard Jones Field.

No doubt, the future looks bright, even in the rain.

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