Recruitment front picks up for Trojans

There was a flurry of recruiting movement for the Trojans over the weekend at the national all-star games with verbal commits from a trio of ESPN 300 players and notable performances from USC prospects in each game.

The verbal commits came from running back Ronald Jones (No. 56 overall in ESPN rankings), safety Marvell Tell (No. 100 overall) and safety Ykili Ross (No. 282 overall).

Jones added a long 58-yard touchdown run shortly after his announcement to attend USC at the start of the Under Armour game, and he is a good-sized back who brings legit speed. USC prospects Iman Marshall and John Houston also stood out during the game, with Marshall even making plays on special teams in addition to solid work at cornerback, and Houston offering a strong physical presence at inside linebacker.

The Army game might well have been a USC recruiting infomercial for all the positive coverage Trojan recruits received in the game. There were the verbal announcements from Ross and Tell, who should come in and provide immediate (and much-needed) depth at the safety spot. Tell had a big hit in his own red zone while Ross actually did most of his work on offense as a receiver.

The Trojans also had a pair of quarterbacks in the game with Sam Darnold and Ricky Town. Each player threw a touchdown and did enough to represent themselves well. On defense, it was a pair of USC linebacker prospects who shined the most with Osa Masina and Porter Gustin doing their best Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing impressions. Both players were talked about during the broadcast as being likely headed to USC, which would be welcome news by Trojan fans if it happens.

The weekend concluded with the Semper Fidelis game and good performances from USC commits Tristan Payton and Noah Jefferson. Payton had a pair of touchdown catches while Jefferson, who was playing along the interior of the defensive line for the first time, had a sack and an impressive play to chase down a ballcarrier.

With the three verbal commits over the weekend the Trojans now have 21 verbal commits, and a class that is ranked No. 8 in the nation by ESPNInsider.

QB: Sam Darnold, Ricky Town

RB: Ronald Jones, Aca'Cedric Ware, Dominic Davis

WR: De’Quan Hampton, Isaac Whitney, Tristan Payton

TE: Tyler Petite

OL: Chuma Edoga, Cole Smith, Roy Hemsley, Clayton Johnston

DL: Jacob Daniel, Noah Jefferson, Christian Rector

LB: Cameron Smith

DB: Isaiah Langley, Taeon Mason, Ykili Ross, Marvell Tell

The next big official visit recruiting weekend for the Trojans will be Jan. 16 with the following players currently scheduled to be on-campus:

Rasheem Green

John Houston

Isaiah Langley

Cole Smith

Sam Darnold

Noah Jefferson

Jacob Daniel

Dominic Davis

Tyler Petite

Christian Rector

USC currently has 11 verbal commits who are ranked among the top 10 players in the country at their position:

Sam Darnold (No. 4 QB-PP)

Ricky Town (No. 7 QB-PP)

Ronald Jones (No. 5 RB)

DeQuan Hampton (No. 1 JC WR)

Isaac Whitney (No. 5 JC WR)

Tyler Petite (No. 4 TE-Y)

Chuma Edoga (No. 3 OT)

Cole Smith (No. 5 OC)

Cameron Smith (No. 9 ILB)

Isaiah Langley (No. 7 ATH)

Marvell Tell (No. 6 S)

Among the remaining prospects on the Trojans' wish list are several players also listed among the top 10 nationally, including:

Rasheem Green (No. 5 DT)

John Houston (No. 2 ILB)

Iman Marshall (No. 2 CB)

Porter Gustin (No. 8 ATH)

Osa Masina (No. 10 OLB)