Sarkisian hauls in a 'ridiculously bright' recruiting class

With a 2015 class ranked No. 3 overall by ESPN, USC coach Steve Sarkisian's claim that the Trojans' future is "ridiculously bright" is true from a recruiting perspective.

Intentionally reiterating the same "ridiculously bright" statement at his Wednesday news conference, it's hard to argue with the Trojans second-year head coach after he and his staff increased their program's talent and depth level.

With a full year to prepare, USC has proven it can deliver the brand to recruits with the best of them. Just ask Ohio State's Urban Meyer who lost out to the Trojans with Utah's physical linebacker Porter Gustin. Or Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, who lost Texas tailback speedster Ronald Jones II, and UCLA's Jim Mora, who couldn't corral lockdown corner Iman Marshall.

"It is great to be able to sign a full class this year," said Sarkisian in referring to the past NCAA sanctions. "Had this been last year, many of the players we signed today would have had to go somewhere else."

No question that Wednesday's final recruiting faxes fulfilled the hopes and dreams of nearly every Trojans loyalist. When the letters of intent from acclaimed talents Marshall, Rasheem Green, and John Houston Jr. arrived inside the John McKay Center, it was a Trojans recruitaholic's nirvana.

"This is a balanced class, as we were able to sign players from every position group and address our depth issues," Sarkisian said. "We also signed very dynamic and skilled players who will help us win championships."

So where does the class of 2015 class rank with other notable Trojans recruiting hauls?

If you're looking for a barometer, check out Pete Carroll's 2003 Trojans recruiting class, which provided the groundwork for national and Pac-10 championships.

Although Carroll's 2002 class had future All-Americans like wide receiver Mike Williams, safety Darnell Bing, and punter Tom Malone, it was the class of 2003 that defined the impending aura Carroll's Trojans.

Carroll's recruiting class of 2003?

How about the letter of intent signatures of future All-Americans such as running back Reggie Bush, offensive linemen Sam Baker and Ryan Kalil, wide receiver Steve Smith, defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, future All-Pac-10 defensive end Lawrence Jackson, running back LenDale White, and eventual Rose Bowl MVP quarterback John David Booty?

And let's no forget others in the 2003 class that went on to the NFL that included defensive backs Terrell Thomas, Eric Wright, and Will Poole, defensive lineman Fili Moala, linebacker Thomas Williams, and running back Chauncey Washington.

For the record, Sarkisian was part of the USC staff that brought in that super talented class. Only time will tell how this 2015 class stacks up.

Like in 2003, it figures not all of the highly publicized players signed on Wednesday will pan out. It's inevitable that as accomplished as this group has been at the prep and JC level, success is no guarantee at the major college level.

Sometimes the most decorated and anticipated recruit fails to live up to the hype, as Trojans fans found out in the unfortunate and disappointing career of five-star wide receiver recruit Whitney Lewis (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure). As part of that 2003 class, Lewis was never able to achieve expectations and eventually transferred to the University of Northern Iowa.

Sarkisian's first recruiting class in 2014, which was talented but limited in numbers, provided first-season standout performances by Freshmen All-Americans Adoree' Jackson and offensive lineman Toa Lobendahn and Freshman All-America honorable mention wide receiver JuJu Smith. This class should bolster the current roster and make fans feel fuzzy all over.

With all this talent comes the challenging part: Coaching them all up, developing them, and winning games. However, you can't compete at the College Football Playoff level of competition unless you first have the talent, and it certainly appears the Trojans are rapidly nearing the necessary CFP talent level through some extraordinary recruiting.

After Wednesday's national signing day, one thing seems fairly certain: The success or failure for the Steve Sarkisian era won't be due to a lack of talent.