It's a very strong year for wide receiver talent in California. Not only are there big time playmakers at the top of the class, it's also incredibly deep with eleven players that have a composite 4 star rating in the state.
With all of that in mind, it came as a surprise to most when USC landed a commitment from wide receiver Velus Jones yesterday. The Trojans always seem to be able to land the majority of the top skill players in California and are considered the favorites to land local blue chip receivers like Tyler Vaughns, Javon McKinley, Jack Jones, Trevon Sidney, and Dylan Crawford according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions. Based on that alone, it would seem odd for the Trojans to offer and accept a commitment from a receiver from Alabama that has not been offered by Alabama or Auburn or even been ranked by three of the four major recruiting services.
At first glance, Jones seems much more like a bottom tier Pac-12 commitment than a player that would commit to a program that could end up with the top recruiting class in the nation. A closer look at his film reveals that the Trojans may have unearthed a gem from SEC country.
He is an explosive athlete with great burst that can make plays after the catch and is great at creating separation by changing speeds. You can check out his highlights below and my scouting report on him here.
Much like USC defensive line signee Noah Jefferson in the 2015 recruiting class, Jones is someone who shows the kind of talent that could end up shooting up the rankings as the recruiting process continues to move forward. At the time Jefferson committed to USC, he was unranked by two of the four recruiting services and was the 73rd ranked defensive end in the nation according to Scout.com. Even at that time, it was obvious he had an extremely high ceiling and had awesome tools to work with. (Here's my scouting report on him just after he committed)
By the end of the recruiting cycle, he was a composite 4 star prospect and ranked as high as the 6th best defensive tackle in the nation according to Rivals.com.
Don't be fooled by Jones' lack of SEC and in-state offers. This kid can play and is a very good pickup for wide receiver coach Tee Martin and USC.