Thursday, February 02, 2006

Signing Day

According to multiple authorities, USC signed the #1 recruiting class in the country yesterday. Florida and USC were neck-and-neck in the final tally.

The day was not without controversy for USC, as one of the country’s top two wide receiver prospects, Vidal Hazelton, faxed his letter of intent (LOI) to USC without his father’s approval. The LOI is invalid without a legal guardian’s signature. He is said to be considering Penn State. On the other hand, Hazelton’s classmate at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA, running back Keiland Williams, has not signed an LOI with LSU and is thought to be strongly considering USC. Regardless of the final outcome of the 2006 recruiting competition, it will be at least a couple years before the relative strength of each school’s class can be determined definitively.

The Trojans ended up securing a commitment from a quarterback, Garrett Green, on the last day, so offensive line is the only position in the class with an apparent deficiency.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that USC’s recruiting class has been listed by many national recruiting publications as the best in the country. Not coincidentally, that is just one year less than the number of years that Pete Carroll has had a full recruiting cycle to build a class. If Stewart Mandel’s statement is true:

“Second-year coaches at rebuilding programs almost always clean up in recruiting. Momentum is rarely higher than when a coach first arrives. The key is keeping it going.

“At schools where the coaches are more deeply entrenched, however, recruiting results are often a telling reflection of the overall state of a program,”

then yesterday’s results are very good news indeed for the USC football program.

Update: Vidal Hazelton signed a LOI with USC on February 23, becoming the 25th member of USC's 2006 recruiting class.