To say USC has had quite an abnormal day on signing day would be a tremendous understatement. Just two recruiting cycles after signing the Pac-12’s top recruiting class following a victory in the Rose Bowl, the Trojans are lining up at the other end of the Pac-12 recruiting spectrum today. The Trojans have a recruiting class that is ranked 12th in the Pac-12 with just 11 commitments locked in for the Class of 2020.
According to the composite team rankings compiled by 247 Sports, USC’s recruiting class ranks 12th in the 12-team Pac-12 and 78th in the nation as of the time of this posting. That pits the Trojans one spot behind Bowling Green and one spot ahead of Louisiana. To be fair to USC, that is still a couple of spots higher than Missouri and Arkansas of the SEC, but those two programs are going through coaching changes. That, of course, is quite a different story for USC, where Clay Helton has been retained by a new Athletics Director.
The ongoing questions about Helton’s future may have doomed much of USC’s recruiting efforts months ago. The ongoing questioning of whether or not Helton would even be USC’s head coach put the Trojans on shaky ground compared to any number of college football programs attempting to recruit the same kind of talent USC was hoping to land. That includes talent from within the state of California.
Oregon is the new Usc in recruiting on the West Coast… back in my day no one dared to recruit So Cal. Now it’s open season and Oregon is hunting!
— Matt Leinart (@MattLeinartQB) December 18, 2019
Wednesday really drove home the idea that USC can no longer just expect to sign some of the top recruits in its state, as the state’s top six recruits all chose to go out of state to Oregon, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State. USC’s highest-rated recruit as of this post was four-star offensive guard Jonah Monheim, the 26th top recruit from California. USC has focused the bulk of this current class on the line of scrimmage with nine of its current commitments playing either offensive or defensive line. One other commitment is from a kicker. USC was hoping to get some late additions at some other positions, but the Trojans have not had much luck in that area.
It is worth a reminder that there will be some years when some schools will sign smaller classes compared to other seasons, but even this recruiting class is a stunner for USC, a top 25 team at the end of the 2019 regular season. The Trojans can fill in some gaps with transfers and additional recruits later in the recruiting cycle that will wrap up in February. Otherwise, the pressure for Helton will continue to escalate in 2020 following one of the more disappointing overall recruiting classes signed by USC.