Wednesday, February 07, 2007

USC Football Recruiting: Quality is No. 1

If you take a look at the rankings for college football recruiting today, you probably won’t see USC Football ranked No. 1. But don’t fret.

USC’s recruiting class of 2007 is all about quality, and on that scale we’re looking like an undisputed champ. Based on projected commitments (as of 9:45 EST this morning) the incoming Trojans have the highest average “star rating” -- based’s one to five scale -- at 4.25. The next highest is Florida at 3.88, followed by Texas at 3.75. No other school has an average above 4.00.

Looking at it another way, USC will welcome five-star players at virtually every position, including studs ranked at or near the top at defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, safety, cornerback, running back, quarterback, offensive tackle, and center

But for whatever reason, USC doesn’t have as many scholarships to award this year, compared to other schools ranked among the Top 10 in recruiting., and any other measure of the best recruiting classes, all take into account quantity as well as quality, which explains the “disadvantage” USC is facing this year in terms of overall ranking. In fact, Florida, the projected recruiting No. 1, has at least 10 more scholarships for the 2007 class than USC, for example.

No matter. Having less scholarships to give means that the Trojans remain stockpiled with the talent our man Pete Carroll assembled over the last four years. It means that USC’s very young team in 2006 is maturing and ready to start the 2007 season as the pre-season No. 1. And, it means we’re welcoming athletes who have supreme belief in themselves, kids who are willing to compete on Howard Jones Field with the best this game has to offer.

Of course, top-10 recruiting classes are no guarantee for success, but as Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline points out, it certainly helps.
CBS went back to 2002 and added up rankings of the top classes from and through 2007 (as of Tuesday). Each year the No. 1 class got 10 points, No. 2, got nine points, etc.

Not surprisingly, the list is topped by Southern California. Since 2002 (Pete Carroll's second year), the Trojans have had six of the 12 No. 1 recruiting classes. They had consensus Rivals/Scout No. 1s in 2004 and 2006.

It isn't even close. During that time period, no coach or program has done more with its recruits than USC, which has a record five straight Pac-10 titles, five BCS bowls and two national championships (and played for another).

The other nine teams combined for three national championships, 13 conference titles and 18 BCS bowls since 2002.

Proof again that Carroll is college football's reigning alpha male when it comes to recruiting. Yes, I know: Water is also wet and the sky is blue. USC already is everybody's preseason No. 1 (on the field) in '07.
Dodd also quotes Steve Sarkisian, who provides a little insight into what gives USC a recruiting edge … and perhaps why he chose to remain a Trojan, rather than become a Raider.
"One is [Carroll’s] energy," USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said. “He’s not afraid to get on the road and recruit. He wants the kids to see him. No. 2, it's our history of playing freshman players. It's not just talk. Not only are guys playing, they're playing significantly. Those are the two areas where it really stands out."

In one three-year period (2003-05) Carroll bragged of playing 40 true freshmen. How many teams have done that? The same amount that developed one Heisman winner (Carson Palmer) and recruited two others (Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush) in a five-year period. […]

Nothing fazes Carroll […] He has lost Heisman winners and All-Americans only to replace them with more Heisman winners and All-Americans. […]

Nothing stops Carroll, not even turnover. Only two coaches remain from his original staff. He has gone through three offensive coordinators and produced three head coaches off his staff. The Trojans went 11-2 and won the Rose Bowl in '06 -- a rebuilding year.
Again, this is how we do it.

So, no overall recruiting title for USC this year? Not a problem. It’s all about quality in 2007 … and the positive hype and good vibes of the Trojans’ pre-season No. 1.

We Are SC!


Conquest Chronicles said...

Could not Agree more! Another great haul for SC!

Conquest Chronicles said...

And McKnight is a Trojan