Two junior-college prospects signed letters of intent to enroll at USC in January on Wednesday, the first day of the midyear signing period, the school announced.
Safety Gerald Bowman (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce J.C.) and defensive end Morgan Breslin (Pleasant Hill, Calif./Diablo Valley J.C.) signed with the Trojans after both flirting with other schools. Bowman was down to Oklahoma and USC; Breslin had been committed to UCLA for several months before changing course over the last week.
Bowman, 6-1 and 215 pounds, is rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN Recruiting and among the top junior-college prospects in the country by all recruiting services. Breslin, 6-3 and 245 pounds, is not graded by ESPN but has a four-star grade from Rivals.com.
“We are thrilled to add both Gerald and Morgan into our program in January,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said in a statement. “Gerald was the nation’s No. 2-rated junior college player and we look forward to him making an impact on our team over the next two years. Morgan’s last-minute decision to change to USC was very critical to us because Nick Perry left early to go to the NFL. After an extremely productive two-year junior college career, he will raise the competition level on our defensive line.”
Both Breslin and Bowman will have three years to play two at USC, meaning they will have redshirt years available. And, by enrolling in January, they don't count against the Trojans' 15-person recruiting class limit for the official Class of 2012.
The Trojans plan to six sign or seven early-enrollees -- meaning four or five more -- between now and Jan. 15, when the current signing period ends.
Three of those will likely be linebacker Scott Starr (Norco, Calif./Norco), lineman Chad Wheeler (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) and defensive end DeVante Wilson (Corona, Calif./Corona). Wilson originally signed with USC in February as part of the 2011 class but greyshirted last season after tearing his ACL.
Starr and Wheeler are both high-school prospects who plan to enroll early.
Bowman was the 2011 Southern California Football Association American Division Pacific Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore at Pierce. His final numbers included 52 tackles, including a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. He earned All-Region IV first team and All-Conference first team honors as a freshman in 2010 while making 58 tackles, a sack and an interception.
He prepped at Imhotep High in Philadelphia (Pa.), where he ran for more than 1,600 yards as a senior with eight touchdowns.
Breslin led all California junior colleges in sacks and tackles for losses the past two seasons. As a 2011 sophomore, he had 13.5 sacks and made All-American first team, All-State Regional Defensive Player of the Year and All-Golden Gate Conference first team. He had 54 tackles, including 23.5 for losses with 14.5 sacks, as a 2010 freshman.
He prepped at Las Lomas High in Walnut Creek, where he played rugby.