Where things stand with USC's Class of 2016 by position

As the Trojans approach the midway point of the spring evaluation period it's time to take a look at where things stand for the Class of 2016.

USC has 25 available scholarships, although three have already been spoken for through the use of “blueshirt” scholarships, players who will be on the roster in the fall with their rides counting against the 2016 class. Two of those blueshirts are confirmed to be WR Deontay Burnett and OL Clayton Johnston, with the third reported to be Oklahoma TE transfer Taylor McNamara, although USC cannot confirm any details until McNamara is officially in school.

That leaves 22 available scholarships with seven current commits. Here is a breakdown of how the spots could be allocated and a status report of each position group.


Projected: 1

Current commits: 1

USC got a verbal this week from Matt Fink, one of the fastest rising players in the national rankings this spring. Look for the focus to now shift to a 2017 QB, with Tate Martell in for an unofficial visit later this week.

Running back

Projected: 1-2

Current commits: 1

Melquise Stovall is a commit and he fits the multi-purpose running back/slot receiver role that Steve Sarkisian likes to use. Stovall could also get a look on defense. The Trojans already have a verbal from a Class of 2017 RB in Stephen Carr, who has been very impressive on the spring camp circuit. The future presence of Carr could impact whether Sarkisian decides to take another runner in this class.

Wide receiver

Projected: 4 (+ 1 blueshirt)

Current commits: 1

With one verbal already for Velus Jones, which definitely qualified as an out-of-state surprise, it will be interesting to watch how the dominoes fall for the remaining spots as there are still some quality local options to choose from such as Tyler Vaughns, Javon McKinley and Trevon Sidney among others.

Tight end

Projected: 1 (+ 1 blueshirt)

Current commits: 0

There had been a previous commitment from Isaac Garcia, who also could end up at defensive end, but Garcia de-committed earlier this week and now the focus presumably shifts to Devin Asiasi, one of the top athletes in this class and the first tight end to ever hold a top 10 spot in the ESPN player rankings.

Offensive line

Projected: 3-4 (+ 1 blueshirt)

Current commits: 2

USC got off to a great start in the evaluation period last month with back-to-back verbals from Nathan Smith and Frank Martin, which should serve as a solid foundation for the O-line class. Cohl Cabral is another local name to remember as a potential addition.

Defensive line

Projected: 3-4

Current commits: 0

The USC coaches will most certainly be looking out-of-state for help along the line as only one current offer -- Oluwole Betiku -- comes from California. The Trojans did take five defensive linemen last year but there are four seniors on the depth chart this year so there is still a need to add more depth.


Projected: 3

Current commits: 2

The two commits at this spot are good ones in Mique Juarez and Daelin Hayes but it appears there is work to be done to hold on to Juarez, as other schools are still coming hard and he is listening to their pitches. Hayes, on the other hand, is making clear to anyone who will listen that he is a done deal to the Trojans. The coaches would love to finalize this group with Caleb Kelly.

Defensive Back

Projected: 4

Current commits: 0

There is a lot of work to be done in the secondary with the good news being that the 7-on-7 spring tournaments have revealed several top prospects including Jackie Jones, C.J. Pollard, Brandon Burton, Lamar Jackson and Isaiah Gilchrist. This is also where versatile players such as Stovall and Sidney could see time, just as Jones could also get a potential look on offense.