It's not often that you can say a recruitment is completely done and it's not even October yet, but that appears to be the case with three big time recruits signing financial aid agreements that plan to enroll early at USC. I only say "appears to be the case" because there is always the chance they could pull a Vanderdoes. I think we can all pretty much definitively say that offensive tackle Chuma Edoga, quarterback Ricky Town, and linebacker Cameron Smith are all going to be Trojans.
These are massive pickups for USC and are part of what could end up being a top 3 recruiting class this year. I have watched film on all three prospects and got to see each of them in person at The Opening. Based on what I've seen, all three have the chance to develop into impact players at the college level.
Here's some observations on three highly touted players:
Town is a composite 4 star player and is ranked as the number two pro-style quarterback in the nation. On film, Town showed good arm strength and remarkable touch on some throws. His footwork in the pocket is very good and it allows him to slide away and avoid pressure. No one would confuse him as a dual threat player, but he has the ability to move the chains with his legs.
I was very impressed with Town when I watched him throw in person at the Elite 11 and The Opening back in July. He wasn't getting nearly the same kind of hype that Josh Rosen or Blake Barnett was during the week, but he showed great accuracy, arm strength, and pretty good decision making during the entire event.
I don't think there is anything that could impress me more than this play he made at the beginning of his senior season.
It's a third and long situation and the defense is showing blitz with two linebackers. A receiver from the opposite side is going in motion.
Before the motion man even gets set, Town is changing the protection because of the possible blitz.
He flipped the running back to the right side because he knows the back has to be there to pick someone up.
Sure enough, the blitz is coming and the back is in the correct position to pick it up.
Town delivers the ball before the pressure gets to him.
The ball is delivered to the tight end and Town is able to convert the third and long play.
That's an adjustment you don't see many quarterbacks make at the prep level and it can be pretty rare at the college level too. It's just an example of something Town brings in addition to his physical skills. He should be right in the thick of things to compete for the quarterback job when Cody Kessler leaves school.
It's not a great year for inside linebacker prospects in the 2015 recruiting class, but there is no doubt that Smith deserves to be mentioned amongst the few who stand out. He's ranked as a 4 star player and the number four inside linebacker by the 247Sports composite rankings.
He's a an old school player for the position that plays downhill against the run. The most impressive thing about him may be his size. He is already built to play right now at the college level and doesn't have to add much weight, if any weight at all. I love the way he takes on blocks and sheds to get to the football and he is a very good blitzer.
I was impressed with how fluid his hips were when watching him in coverage at The Opening compared to what I saw from his junior film. He has the chance to develop into a rock in the middle of the Trojan defense.
Edoga is the best current commitment in USC's 2015 class and one of the best players in the nation. He's ranked as a 5 star player and the third best offensive tackle in the nation by the 247Sports composite. He showed in person and on film that he has elite skills for an offensive lineman. His feet and balance are outstanding in pass protection and he has the kind of length every coach wants in a lineman.
The thing about Edoga that makes him as good as he is though, is his ability and desire to finish his blocks. He plays with an edge to his game that is awesome to watch.
Here's an example from Edoga's senior season that shows exactly what I'm talking about:
Edoga is lined up at right tackle on the play.
The play is being run to his side and his job is to kick out the defensive lineman who was lined up on the outside shade of him.
He's done that now and most players would consider their job done if they just can keep the defender where he is. But not Edoga.
Edoga is driving his man completely out of the play and to the sideline.
The play is basically over, but Edoga is not satisfied.
He's driving his man all the way out of bounds until he hears the echo of the whistle!
Some people might say this is on the borderline of dirty, but this is the kind of mentality that separates a player like Edoga from so many others. I want an offensive lineman to want to finish every block and that's exactly what Edoga tries to do on a consistent basis.
Finishing is important. Just ask Jake Matthews.
Town and Smith can both develop into great players, but Edoga has the chance to be special. He has the skills to play multiple roles on the offensive line and only needs to add weight and strength to become an early contributor for the Trojans.
USC might be coming off a disappointing loss last week, but adding these three players into the fold makes it a lot easier to get up and get excited about football this week for any fans of the Trojans.