WeAreSC Recruiting Mailbag

WeAreSC recruiting reporter Blair Angulo answers reader questions in his mailbag every Friday. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it here.

Rich K. (Porter Ranch, Calif.): Given the problems on the defensive line, will SC go after more interior defensive linemen?

I'd like to assume coach Ed Orgeron is happy with his haul at this point. USC currently has five defensive line commits in the 2013 class -- including the second- and fifth-ranked defensive tackles in Kenny Bigelow (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) and Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer), respectively -- and even surprised some people by landing four-star end Torrodney Prevot (Houston, Texas/Alief Taylor) late last month. The current class has outstanding balance -- 10 defensive commits, eight on offense -- and it probably won't be compromised by a few injuries in camp.

Jonathan (Baltimore, Md.): Hi Blair, I have read a number of articles you have written indicating that we have 18 available scholarships for 2013 (the mandated 15, plus three early enrollees towards 2012). However, if I am not mistaken, doesn't Silas Redd's transfer count against the 2012 class, meaning only 2 spots are available for EE's? Please clarify.

Incoming freshman receiver Darreus Rogers (Carson, Calif./Carson) has yet to join the team for camp as he awaits clearance from the NCAA. If Rogers isn't cleared, Redd would presumably fill his spot in last year's class. Then there are the uncertain statuses of cornerback Isiah Wiley and linebacker Marquis Simmons, whose academic eligibilities are up in the air. Another option would be to not renew the scholarship of a former walk-on.

Kurt (Fort Collins, Colo.): Is it safe to say that if any of the following players; Matthew Thomas, Montravius Adams, Laremy Tunsil, Robert Nkemdiche, and/or Dee Liner want to become Trojans, coach Lane Kiffin will find a way to make it work? Thanks.

Reason says no, but only because USC has solid commitments from high-caliber prospects at each of those positions. For instance, how much would Orgeron really improve this class by taking a commitment from, say, Liner, the top-ranked defensive tackle, when the Trojans already have Bigelow and Vanderdoes on board? The difference would be marginal -- and that's not taking into account the risk of losing other commitments. Tunsil, who has said he will take an official visit to USC, would be an upgrade over 14th-ranked offensive tackle commit Nico Falah -- but Falah was the West's only offensive lineman the Trojans offered, so that shows you what coach James Cregg thinks about the local standout. It's an iffy line, for sure.

Nick Franscioni (Los Angeles, Calif.): Blair, what happens if USC receives more verbal commitments than the 18 scholarship spots? Does Kiff and Co. get to pick and choose which commits they want?

It'd be surprising if USC received another verbal commitment without first getting a decommitment from a current pledge. The Trojans capped off July in a flurry, filling the 18 available spots despite their scholarship limitations. The staff won't stop recruiting, but it definitely has the luxury of being selective from now until February.