With a pair of former four-/five-star players at the position transferring the past few months — Amir Carlisle to Notre Dame, Dillon Baxter into oblivion — USC’s running back cupboard had been looking rather bare for 2013 and beyond.
Hell, it was even looking bare for this season, so much so that Tre Madden was moved from linebacker to RB and appeared to be leading the competition for a starting job — until he suffered a season-ending knee injury during spring practice.
Thanks to a pair of decisions this week, however, the future’s looking much better at the position. Well, on paper it is anyway.
On Tuesday, Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy high schooler Ty Isaac (pictured) announced via Twitter that he has given his verbal commitment to the Trojans, a decision his father subsequently confirmed. Then, Thursday, Stockton (Cal.) Lincoln High School tailback Justin Davis confirmed that he intends to become a Trojan next year.
(Standard disclaimer: verbal commitments are non-binding pledges.)
Scout.com rates both players as five-star recruits, with Isaac considered the top RB by the recruiting service and Davis No. 3. Rivals.com has given a four-star rating to each, pegging Isaac as the No. 3 RB and Davis No. 5.
Isaac chose USC over finalists that included Michigan, Notre Dame and Auburn. The player’s father said the combination of academics and athletics led to his son heading west to continue his playing career.
“We’ve been to a lot of schools and done our homework,” Isaac’s father, Tyrone Isaac, told ESPN.com. “We dwindled it down to one school. It was about what they were able to offer academically and what they offered athletically. It came down to the right fit for him. It was about the tradition, and he fit with the players and coaches.”
In making his verbal commitment, Davis opted for USC over a pair of Pac-12 schools — Cal and Washington. Citing RBs coach//offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu as a major influence, Davis said USC’s ability to prepare him for the next level clinched it for the Trojans.
Oh, and the academics thing, too. That played a role as well.
“My decision really comes down to how USC will get me ready for the NFL,” he said. “I feel USC just sets me up so well for later in life. It’s not just about football either. USC offers so many opportunities athletically and academically.”
Isaac and Davis become the sixth and seventh verbals to USC’s Class of 2013, with four of those currently part of the Rivals100. Included in that group is Max Browne, a five-star recruit committed to the Trojans who’s the consensus top quarterback — pro-style or dual-threat — among the three major recruiting services.