For USC fans disappointed with a 7-5 regular season and Sun Bowl berth, this is the week to look ahead with optimism and excitement.
The future of USC football, which appears to be very bright based on the current recruiting class, will be on display during the U.S. Army and Under Armour All-American games this coming week.
As has been the case in previous years, the Trojans will be well represented by thirteen verbal commits taking part in the U.S. Army Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. The group of highly touted prospects is lead by the nations top quarterback, Max Browne, and five-star safety Su’a Cravens.
Here is a look at the USC recruits in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl:
Max Browne – Coming off of a Washington State championship, Browne will head to San Antonio as Scout’s top quarterback in the country. The five-star quarterback, who will start classes at USC later this month as an early enrollee, is an extremely polished and poised passer that should have a solid week of practice, and could do a lot of work recruiting for USC as well.
Jalen Ramsey – Bringing in an athletic cornerback with good size would be big for the 2013 class, and Ramsey fits both of those needs. Ramsey has already taken official visits to Florida, Mississippi and Washington, and will be in Los Angeles for the big recruiting weekend on Jan.18th.
Jason Hatcher – The talented defensive lineman from Kentucky remains solid to USC but plans to take official visits to Kentucky, Louisville and Florida, as well as a trip to USC on Jan.18th. Unlike most cases where USC will get the final visit from their committed players, Hatcher will spend his last official visit at Louisville.
Kenny Bigelow – Big Kenny Bigelow will get the chance to showcase his size and athleticism on the interior of the defensive line. The five-star defensive tackle will also get an opportunity to play alongside future teammate Jason Hatcher. With Bigelow and Hatcher causing havoc for the East defense, USC fans will be hoping that the physical duo takes it easy on Max Browne during the game on Saturday.
USC safety signee Su’a Cravens.
Torrodney Prevot – The 6-4, 205-pound defensive end/outside linebacker from Houston, Texas is one of the most intriguing prospects at the Army Bowl. Prevot is a pass rush specialist with tremendous burst off the line, but is listed at just 205 pounds, so he will need to add weight on the next level. Notre Dame could get a late visit.
Justin Davis – The top tailback in country will get a chance to play alongside several future teammates while in San Antonio. With Browne under center, Davis at tailback and Steven Mitchell at wide receiver, USC fans will get a glimpse of the future on the offensive side of the ball during Army Bowl practices.
Steven Mitchell – The Alemany standout had a terrific senior season and proved that he was one of the most dangerous players in the West with the ball in his hands. This week in San Antonio will allow Mitchell another chance to work with Max Browne and continue to build on their chemistry in the passing game. Mitchell remains solidly committed to USC.
Nico Falah – It has been a bit of a down year for offensive linemen out West, especially compared to last year’s tremendous crop, so it will be interesting to see how Falah measures up against the top linemen in the country. The four-star offensive tackle visited Washington early in December, but look for a week surrounded by several USC recruits to solidify Falah’s commitment to the Trojans.
Kylie Fitts – Kylie Fitts is another key member of USC’s outstanding defensive line class that will be on display all week in San Antonio. For Fitts, the U.S. Army Bowl is one more chance to compete as a high school player before making the jump to college as an early enrollee. The four-star defensive lineman has already signed with USC.
Michael Hutchings – Last time we talked to Michael Hutchings was just after he helped De La Salle capture yet another California Open Division State Championship, and extend the Spartans’ win-streak to 25 games. Hutchings usually doesn’t jump out at these showcase events but is a steady linebacker with great instincts and understanding of the game.
Chris Hawkins – Hawkins is a bit of an undersized corner that will get tested this week against some bigger wide receivers, and he usually rises to the occasion. The four-star cornerback will bring a lot of confidence and swagger to the field. Hawkins is another early enrollee that will arrive at USC in January and be available for spring practice.
Khaliel Rodgers – The big interior lineman hasn’t played in a game in months so it will be interesting to see how he performs early in the week. One thing is for sure; Rodgers will play with a lot of intensity and bring a defensive mentality to the offensive line for the East squad.
Su’a Cravens – The five-star safety has been a leader among the group of USC verbal commits in the 2013 class. Cravens has already signed with USC and will begin classes later in January when he returns home from the Army Bowl.
Eddie Vanderdoes – Vanderdoes’ recent de-commitment from USC had the recruiting world buzzing last week, and you can be sure that the five-star defensive lineman will be very popular among recruits looking to sway him to their school. USC is still in the mix, along with UCLA, Notre Dame and Washington.
Tahaan Goodman – Other than Eddie Vanderdoes, Tahaan Goodman is probably the player that will get the most attention for the USC commits this week. Goodman has taken the recruiting process slow and USC, UCLA and LSU are all still in the mix for his commitment.
A’Shawn Robinson – The Texas defensive line commit recently visited USC but there was very little info on how the visit went. Robinson is as physically imposing player that already has an NFL frame. It is considered a bit of long shot for USC, but we should know much more about his recruitment after this week.
Chris Hawkins and Tahaan Goodman at their Army Bowl announcement ceremony.