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Spatula City: USC flips two 4 star recruits to start signing day

Former FSU commit Jamel Cook and former Oregon commit Vavae Malepeai
Student Sports

It wouldn't be signing day without USC landing a ton of blue chip prospects at the last minute and they are doing it again this year. Although this time, they are flipping commits rather than just grabbing prospects who are making decisions on the day of.

This morning they signed long time Florida State commit Jamel Cook, a 4 star athlete out of Miami. Then they went and topped it by stealing an explosive 4 star running back from one of the top dogs in the conference when Vavae Malepeai chose USC over Oregon. He also was committed to the Ducks for a very long time.

No one expected a drop off when Clay Helton took over as head coach when it came to recruiting because USC will always be USC, but taking both of these prospects away from two power programs was unexpected.

Cook is capable of playing wide receiver at the next level, yet also has rare skills in coverage for a player his size. He is a unique fit at cornerback, but likely will end up at safety. His compete level when the ball is in the air is outstanding and having an athlete like him is going to help the Trojan defense be multiple. Playing as a big nickel is not out of the question for him down the road.

Malepeai couldn't be more different than Cook in stature. 5'9" might be generous for him in regards to his height. His game is quick feet and outstanding burst more than anything, though. He also runs with surprising power for his size. He stood out as one of the most impressive backs at The Opening last year and his ability to win in space and catch the ball is going to be a great compliment to the inside running that Ronald Jones II already brings to the table.

USC also won a big battle over Michigan today for 4 star defensive end Connor Murphy as well and they are not done yet with at least a few other big fish still on the board. Muprhy is a long and athletic prospect who is going to be a terrific player in a couple of years once he gets stronger.

Stanford and UCLA may have had the lead in Pac-12 recruiting, but they may not hold on before the day is over. The Trojans are again making a charge and the recruiting machine hasn't stopped rolling despite any changes to the coaching staff.