When USC picked up a surprise commitment from ESPN 300 offensive guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) late Monday night, it gained more than just a four-star prospect.
The Trojans and interim head coach Ed Orgeron gained credibility, too.
Flipping three-star receiver Shay Fields Jr. (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) from Boise State and wrestling three-star athlete Ajene Harris (Los Angeles/Crenshaw) away from San Diego State might not have been viewed as major accomplishments. The same could be said of convincing under-the-radar prospects Uchenna Nwosu (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) and Olajuwon Tucker (Gardena, Calif./Serra) to accept scholarship offers.
But by plucking Talamaivao, who was less than two weeks removed from an official visit to Alabama, the school he was verbally committed to for nearly six months, Orgeron and his staff made perhaps the most resounding statement they could have made heading into the final 10 weeks of the 2014 recruiting cycle.