USC football recruiting upheaval: More five-star decommits, more five-star commits

Stephen Dunn

The USC Trojans have seen recruits like Jason Hatcher, Eddie Vanderdoes, Eldridge Massington, Sebastian Larue, Kylie Fitts and Max Redfield decommit. But they're still on the verge of another top 10 class.

The USC Trojans have had to undergo a bit of turmoil with their 2013 recruiting class. With only a limited number of scholarships available they've had to deal with, there have been plenty of recruits that have committed, only to reopen their recruitment when they realized USC might have different visions of how to use them as Trojans (or whether to use them at all). Of the 19 players that have committed to USC, six have ended up decommitting, or 31 percent.

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Perhaps the darkest mark that USC has had to deal with is denying defensive end Kylie Fitts early entrance. After months of reassuring the Trojan commit that he could enroll in the spring, USC informed him otherwise when Leon McQuay III committed early and took his EE spot. Fitts's high school coach has expressed displeasure at the way the USC coaching staff treated his player.

There have been several other decommits from USC, all of them high-profile:

Wide receiver Eldridge Massington decommitted from USC early in December. Massington suffered an injury during the season and eventually it appears as if the Trojan coaching staff decide to part ways. Massington has since committed to UCLA as an early entree and is already on the Bruin campus.

Wide receiver Sebastian Larue decommitted from USC early in the month to take a few looks at other schools. Right now, Texas A&M and Washington State appear to be schools going hard after Larue. He will not be considering Notre Dame.

Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes was a summer commitment to USC, but he has reopened his recruitment and is considering schools like Alabama, Notre Dame, UCLA and Washington. The Trojans have no desire to let Vanderdoes go, though, and have gone so far as to offer Vanderdoes's sister a basketball scholarship. Baylee Vanderdoes is still a high school freshman.

Safety Max Redfield was recently a Trojan commit, but reopened things in November. Redfield eventually committed to Notre Dame.

Then there's defensive end Jason Hatcher, who decommitted several days ago and now has Kentucky and Louisville among his top schools. Just like Vanderdoes, USC has no plans on losing Hatcher and has applied the full court press.

Does that mean USC is in peril of having a bad recruiting class? Hardly. The Trojans still could bring back a few of those decommits, but they also have the eye of some huge uncommitted recruits.

To replace Redfield, USC managed to get McQuay. Some recruiting prospects believe McQuay and Su'a Cravens are the two best safeties in the country. Both are enrolled and should compete in spring camp.

If USC cannot get Vanderdoes or Hatcher back in the fold, five-star linebacker Quinton Powell is a top target for the Trojans. Powell has Florida and USC in his final two, and he figures to announce on National Signing Day.

Behemoth offensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson remains committed to Texas, but he has been looking around at multiple schools that include the Trojans. Alabama got a visit recently, and so did USC, although, no one has any idea on what his true intentions are.

And then there's outside linebacker Matthew Thomas. Thomas is one of the best in the country at his position and visited USC last week. Thomas has the Trojans on his final list and could very well be a surprise commitment come the final rush.

In USC's case, they lose some of the rich and still end up getting richer.

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