When looking at the remaining prospects on the USC wish list, it's noticeable that the Trojans coaches are again casting a wide net across in the country in search of elite recruits.
There had been a lot of speculation that USC would be focusing more on local athletes during the restrictions – especially considering that local young talent served the team so well last season. One of the side effects of the 10-2 record, however, has been increased interest from national recruits.
Suddenly, the USC program that was expected to be suffering through the sanctions is now one of the hottest teams in the country, with more expected next season. Matt Barkley's announcement that he was returning for his senior season served as free advertising. It was the type of publicity that gave Lane Kiffin and his coaches the opening they needed to hit the road and make their pitch.
First it was cornerback Tracy Howard (Miramar, Fla./Miramar) firming up a visit, then defensive tackle Leonard Williams (Daytona Beach, Fla. Mainland) and offensive guard Isaac Seumalo (Corvallis, Ore./Corvallis). Those out-of-state players joined other national recruits such as offensive lineman Zach Banner (Lakewood, Wash./Lakes) and wide receiver Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla./Berkeley Prep) who had long been showing serious interest in USC. As of today, 13 out-of-state recruits will end up making official visits to USC in the final three weeks of the recruiting season.
It remains to be seen how many of these national recruits will end up at USC, but judging by the sheer number of out-of-state players who are taking official visits, it’s clear the coaches are committed to maintaining their efforts to recruit on a national level.