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Pac-12 football: Sarkisian's USC class small in numbers, huge in impact

Published February 5, 2014 3:03 pm

Pac-12 • Trojanssign only 14 players, but land several highly rated players.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

USC signed only 14 players this year, but the limited number didn't prevent USC from making a strong late effort on national signing day.

The Trojans landed the top uncommitted prospect in the country when cornerback Adoree' Jackson signed with USC over UCLA, Florida and LSU.

Jackson's decision was one of the most anticipated in the league since the five-star athlete should excel on the football field and in the track and field program.

A product of the same high school that produced USC standouts Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, Jackson is a talented long jumper who could be a 2016 Olympian.

The Trojans also nabbed offensive lineman Damian Mama, who decided to stay close to home after considering BYU and Alabama, and Viane Talamaivao, an offensive guard rated the No. 90 overall prospect according to Rivals.com.

The capper for USC was John "JuJu" Smith, a 6-foot, 200-pound defensive back who picked the Trojans over Notre Dame.

While the Trojans lacked the numbers, they won't lack star power, making coach Steve Sarkisian's class small but impressive.

USC arguably had the best day in the Pac-12, although others ranked higher due to sheer numbers, with Arizona State and Stanford nabbing several impact players.

Stanford landed Keller Chryst, a pro-style quarterback considered by some to be the best in the country.

The Cardinal also landed Casey Tucker, a five-star lineman out of Arizona and Dalton Schultz, Bingham High's star who was rated as the top tight end in the nation by some recruiting services, and Solomon Thomas, a defensive end out of Texas who had one of the more unique signing day moments.

Thomas, who picked Stanford over Arkansas and UCLA, put on black "nerd" glasses with tape in the middle and put a tree on the table to announce his decision.

Perhaps one of the biggest movers was Washington and new coach Chris Petersen.

Budda Baker — who not only has one of the catchiest names in the league, but was considered one of the best athletes in the region as well — de-committed from Oregon and signed with the Huskies.

Washington also swayed former Utah recruit Sidney Jones to sign with the Huskies.

While it still rated high nationally, one of the biggest disappointments had to be UCLA. The Bruins failed to get Mama, Thomas or receiver Malachi Dupre, who picked LSU. —

2014 class rank

Rivals

Note • National rankings in parentheses

1. USC (10)

2. Stanford (14)

3. UCLA (18)

4. ASU (21)

5. Oregon (26)

6. Arizona (28)

7. Washington (36)

8. California (45)

9. Oregon State (49)

10. Colorado (64)

11. Utah (68)

12. Washington State (71)

Scout

1. USC (10)

2. Stanford (21)

3. Arizona St. (17)

4. UCLA (19)

5. Oregon (22)

6. Arizona (30)

7. Washington (36)

8. California (43)

9. Oregon St. (48)

10. Washington St. (59)

11. Utah (68)

12. Colorado (71