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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Lincoln Riley’s first day signing at USC – here’s what to expect

Lincoln Riley's first day signing at USC - here's what to expect

Lincoln Riley'S First Day Signing At Usc - Here'S What To Expect

As the calendar shifts to an early signing period on Wednesday, USC football will become the wild card to watch.

As of Tuesday afternoon, new head coach Lincoln Riley and the Trojans had only four high school candidates and one transfer in the 2022 class. The group is ranked last in the Pac-12 and 102nd in the national rankings according to 247Sports.com.

But USC still has a surplus of scholarships to work with, and a few high-profile recruits on its radar. This could mean that USC has a three-day signing period or a quiet one.

There are a number of potential clients who may be joining USC this week (more on them later). But other targets for Riley might want to wait until the February signing period to make a decision.

Riley only worked at USC for two weeks. He is still recruiting coaching staff. And for potential clients he hasn’t hired in Oklahoma, there’s still room to develop a relationship with Riley and his assistants before pulling the trigger.

Some may be ready to go this week. Some may take longer. But even if Wednesday becomes National Signing Day, Riley’s work on establishing his first USC roster will not end this week.

Current commits

DT Earl Barquet, Transfer, TCU

P. Atticus Bertrams, two stars, Australia

RB Ralik Brown, 5 Star, Mater Dei

CB Fabian Ross, four-star, Bishop Gorman (New)

Devan Tompkins, three stars, Stockton Edison

Requirement items

Let’s be honest for a second: there is no group on the USC roster that cannot benefit from any help. So here are some areas that are especially needed.

Starting with the defense, USC needs a lot of reinforcement from the midfielder. This was a group that had depth issues before Raymond Scott, Hunter Echols, and Giuliano Falanico entered the transmission portal. The defensive line needs help, especially in tackling the ball, even after Barke played on Monday. And a few veteran guys in the full-back position would be a nice addition, considering Chris Steele and Isaac Taylor-Stewart, or both, could leave in the NFL Draft.

The attack line should be on the other side of the ball first. There are many young linemen in USC, but it would be good for Riley and his team to add a few higher ranked players to solidify the USC base in that position. Some depth is required during the takeoff run and a wide receiver. The quarterback would be nice if he was insured against sophomore Jackson Dart and red-shirt rookie Miller Moss, but it might be tricky given five-star Malachi Nelson is waiting in the 2023 class.

Whom to watch

Five-star quarterback Mater Dei Domani Jackson is leading the USC prospect group expected to announce decisions this week. Jackson was the previous USC Commandant who backtracked on his promise in November during a coaching search. Jackson was involved with Trojans and Alabama, but was at the University of Southern California on a campus visit on Sunday.

Another monarch, four-star WR CJ Williams, left Notre Dame following a visit to the USC over the weekend. Former translator of Mater Dei CB and LSU Elias Rix was also on campus on an informal visit.

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