USC continues to build 2014 class

A recent string of recruiting activity has left USC with eight verbal commitments in the 2014 class and clearer outlook at the areas of need with national signing day just over three months away. The Trojans signed 12 prospects last February and will have an extra four scholarships to use in the current class for a total of 19. Here’s a position-by-position look at how the they could allocate those spots:

Offensive line: 4

A major focus for USC in this class, given the lack of depth and presence of an elite prospect in its own backyard. The Trojans lost a commitment from highly regarded tackle Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), but solid building blocks remain.

Commits: No. 8 OG Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra), No. 19 OT Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day School), No. 138 OT Jordan Austin (Claremont, Calif./Claremont)

Five to watch: Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), Chris Brown (Los Angeles/Loyola), David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence), Kaleb McGary (Fife, Wash./Fife), Andrew Mike (Tucson, Ariz./Sabino)

Defensive line: 4

Defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow was the only lineman to sign with USC in the previous cycle after four others decommitted. Juco prospect Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) and ESPN 300 member Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central) have decommitted this year, but position coach Ed Orgeron could still make a splash.

Commits: No. 21 DE Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), No. 56 DT Austin Maloata (Corona, Calif./Centennial), No. 111 DE Olajuwon Tucker (Gardena, Calif./Serra)

Five to watch: Claudeson Pelon (Orlando, Fla./Mesa Community College), Joshua Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har-Ber), Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr), Ismael Murphy-Richardson (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge), Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln)