USC Trojans spring evaluation period preview

With the spring evaluation period kicking off on Wednesday and extending through the month of May, here's a look at some of the Class of 2016 prospects who the USC coaching staff will likely be checking in on.


Uncommitted prospects with an offer: Matt Fink (Glendora, Calif./Glendora)

USC head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff were quick to offer Fink following K.J. Costello's recent announcement for Stanford. Standing 6-foot-3 and 179 pounds, Fink is a dual-threat passer who is thought to have a high ceiling. Another signal-caller who the coaches will be taking a look at in the coming weeks is Patrick O'Brien (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./San Juan Hills). A pure pocket passer, he doesn't currently hold any offers, but his stock is starting to rise after an eye-opening MVP performance at The Opening Los Angeles Regional, and he was at a Trojans practice recently.

Running back

Uncommitted prospects with an offer: Melquise Stovall (Lancaster, Calif./Paraclete), Elijah Holyfield (Atlanta, Ga./Woodward Academy), Robert Washington (Huntersville, N.C./Southlake Christian Academy)

A shifty and elusive playmaker, Stovall shined at the recent Los Angeles Opening Regional -- just one day after earning an offer from the Trojans' staff. With tentative plans to announce his decision in mid-June, he's looking at USC, UCLA, Cal, Arizona, ASU and Washington. Among the other prospects closer to home who could get a look this spring are Damian Alloway (Fontana, Calif./Summit), Zion Echols (Covina, Calif./Charter Oak) and Sean McGrew (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco). All are athlete-types with big-play ability. The Trojans' coaches will also reportedly stop by Manvel (Texas) to check in on D'Vaughn Pennamon, who was at USC's spring game.

Wide receiver

Uncommitted prospects with an offer: A.J. Brown (Starkville, Miss./Starkville), Dylan Crawford (Coto de Caza, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic), Drake Davis (Baton Rouge, La./Fork Union Military Academy), Tren'Davian Dickson (Navasota, Texas/Navasota), N'Keal Harry (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler), Josh Imatorbhebhe (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett), Mykel Jones (Patterson, La./Patterson), Javon McKinley (Corona, Calif./Centennial), Steffon McKnight (San Diego, Calif./Mira Mesa), Darian Owens (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West), Michael Pittman (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian), Trevon Sidney (La Puente, Calif./Bishop Amat), Dredrick Snelson (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), Freddie Swain (Citra, Fla./North Marion), Tyler Vaughns (La Puente, Calif./Bishop Amat), Keyshawn Young (Miami, Fla./Miami Senior)

No position is deeper in this year's class than wide receiver, and it's a good thing too because the Trojans will likely take at least four players at the spot. The position is particularly loaded locally, with blue chippers residing in-state like Vaughns, McKinley, McKnight, Crawford and Sidney -- a two-way star who has stood out on the offensive side of the ball this 7-on-7 season. The USC coaching staff has also reached out nationally as of late, extending offers to Young, Swain and Brown in recent days. It will be interesting to see if they continue to cast their net far and wide this spring with so much talent right in their backyard.

Tight end

Uncommitted prospects with an offer: Cary Angeline (Exton, Pa./Downingtown East), Devin Asiasi (Concord, Calif./De La Salle), Nick Eubanks (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), Thaddeus Moss (Charlotte, N.C./Victory Christian), Naseir Upshur (Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Institute Charter)

The tight end position isn't particularly deep this year, but the Trojans staff has been in on Asiasi from the beginning, and there's no doubt that Marques Tuiasosopo will be making a stop by De La Salle in the coming days. Moss, who also plays defensive end, is the most recent to receive an offer here. He's the son of former NFL star wide receiver Randy Moss.

Offensive line

USC commit: Nathan Smith (Murietta, Calif./Mesa)

Uncommitted prospects with an offer: Cohl Cabral (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos), Jean Delance (Mesquite, Texas/North Mesquite), Frank Martin (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), Luke Wattenburg (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./JSerra Catholic)

The Trojans scored a big get on Wednesday morning in Smith, a prototypical 6-foot-7 tackle prospect. Both he and Cabral were just recently offered. The USC coaches have also done a good job of building up a strong relationship with Martin, who was a regular at spring practice. There are still plenty of prospects under evaluation, including Alex Akingbulu (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne), Michael Eletise (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kaiser) and Tucker Scott (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente).

Defensive line

USC commits: Isaac Garcia (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue)

Uncommitted prospects with an offer: Oluwole Betiku (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Derrick Brown (Sugar Hill, Ga./Lanier), Keyshon Camp (Lakeland, Fla./Lake Gibson), Chris Daniels (Euless, Texas/Trinity), Jordan Elliott (Houston, Texas/Westside), Rashan Gary (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic), Josh King (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South), Dexter Lawrence (Wake Forest, N.C./Wake Forest), Rashard Lawrence (Monroe, La./Neville), Justin Madubuike (McKinney, Texas/McKinney North), Connor Murphy (Phoenix, Ariz./Brophy Prep), Rahshaun Smith (Towson, Md./St. Frances Academy), Maxs Tupai (Murray, Utah/Murray)

Garcia, originally from Southern California, is a solid commit to the Trojans. The USC coaching staff has talked with him primarily about lining up at rush end, although there's always a chance he could wind up at tight end as well. Betiku is a big-time talent from local USC feeder program Serra, but he's also heavily considering UCLA as well as Penn State and Maryland. Murphy and Tupai are two prospects who just recently received offers.


USC commits: Daelin Hayes (Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline), Mique Juarez (Torrance, Calif./North Torrance)

Uncommitted prospects with an offer: Cameron Brown (Potomac, Md./Bullis), Ben Davis (Gordo, Ala./Gordo), Brendan Ferns (Saint Clairsville, Ohio/Saint Clairsville), Darrian Franklin (Downey, Calif./Downey), Caleb Kelly (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West), Jeffrey McCulloch (Aldine, Texas/ Davis), Lyndell Wilson (Montgomery, Ala./Carver), LaMar Winston (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic)

With verbal pledges from Hayes and Juarez, the Trojans are off to a great start here. The USC staff will undoubtedly swing by Clovis West this spring to check in with Kelly, who recently put the Trojans back in his top 10, after leaving them out on his previous list. Franklin released a top eight that included USC. Davir Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif./Verbum Dei), Blake Walls (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and Bryce Youngquist (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos) are among those who are still being evaluated.


Uncommitted prospects with an offer: Isaiah Gilchrist (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue), Jackie Jones (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), Byron Murphy (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro), Nigel Knott (Madison, Miss./Germantown), Jordan Parker (Pittsburg, Calif./Pittsburg).

Jones could just as easily wind up at wideout, but he's made a huge impression on the spring camp and 7-on-7 circuit as a cornerback. He was at a recent Trojans practice, and he is also looking at UCLA, Oklahoma, ASU, Colorado State, Washington State and Miami (Fla.) among others. Treyjohn Butler (Etiwanda, Calif./Etiwanda) and David Long (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) are a couple other prospects who the coaches could check out in either April or May.


Uncommitted prospects with an offer: Deontay Anderson (Manvel, Texas/Manvel), Brandon Burton (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Lamar Jackson (Elk Grove, Calif./Franklin), Brandon Jones (Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches), Jaylon Jones (Allen, Texas/Allen), C.J. Pollard (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Shurod Thompson (Pittsburg, Calif./Pittsburg).

The Trojans look to be in good standing with Pollard and Burton, two standouts from Serra. Jackson -- who just received an offer from USC -- and Thompson are two other in-state targets who have been receiving plenty of attention from Sarkisian and Co. Some propects to watch this spring who have yet to be offered are Marquel Dismuke (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas) and Chase Lucas (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler), the latter of whom could also wind up at running back.