The USC Trojans have done a tremendous job recruiting the tight end position in recent years, a fact reflected in the depth chart, with Randall Telfer, Xavier Grimble, Christian Thomas, Junior Pomee and incoming freshman Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick.
This year, Lane Kiffin and staff once again could have a chance to add the top tight end prospect in California in 6-foot-4, 220-pound Marcus Baugh (Riverside, Calif./J.W. North). Baugh, along with coaches and teammates from J.W. North, visited USC on Tuesday and took in the Trojans practice. The tight end doesn't hold an offer from USC at this point, but has collected them from schools such as Ohio State, Florida, UCLA, California and Nebraska.
"I love going to USC," Baugh said. "The campus is beautiful and it's only an hour and a half away."
Tuesday offered a unique perspective for Baugh. Not only was he able to watch the Trojans go through a practice, he was fairly easily able to project himself onto the field, lining up at tight end. Much of that had to do with the fact USC is practicing without a scholarship tight end right now, as all four have been relegated to the sideline with injuries.
"It's kind of ridiculous for that to happen," Baugh said of every tight end being out at once. "It makes it tough on them."
After practice, Baugh was able to spend time with Kiffin, as well as recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron and recruiting contact James Cregg. Baugh said that while an offer wasn't extended, it was time well spent.
"They want me to be patient because they are dealing with a limited number of scholarships," Baugh said. "They wanted to know when I was going to make a decision and to let me know that they are still interested."
The Trojans invited Baugh to their summer camp, which means Baugh could be on a similar path as the one Cope-Fitzpatrick took last season, when he impressed the USC staff enough during that same camp that an immediate offer and verbal commitment took place. Baugh said that USC and Oregon are the schools he is most looking forward to receiving an offer from, and added that the depth chart won't be a factor in his decision.
"It's about competing better than the other guys," Baugh said.