WeAreSC mailbag

USC has had a hard time in recent classes holding on to its top commit. Will Elkton, Md., defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow buck that trend? Scott Fink/ESPNHS

WeAreSC recruiting editor Erik McKinney answers reader questions in his mailbag every Friday. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it here.

Chris Madrid (Santa Ana, Calif. ): Hello Erik, Kenny Bigelow is as close to a must get as USC has ever had because he has potential to step right in and start and instantly improves the lack of depth currently at the DT position. My concern is USC has had a recent history of losing the top player in each recruiting cycle. (De'Anthony Thomas, Arik Armstead, Seantrel Henderson). My two-part question is how solid of a commit is he? Does his participation in showcases help or hurt this recruitment?

I agree with you that Kenny Bigelow (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) is an important target for this class. A problem arises when you start getting into different degrees of commitments. When it comes to a player making a verbal commitment, absolutely everything should be followed by “at this time.” At the time they committed, Thomas, Armstead and Henderson were all considered “solid.” So, at this time, Bigelow plans to sign with USC in February and has said he can’t see himself going anywhere else. So, if signing day was tomorrow, Bigelow would be eagerly awaiting the chance to send his letter of intent in to Heritage Hall. But since it doesn’t take place until February, there’s always a chance that a situation could arise and he could look elsewhere -- as is the case with every single committed recruit in the country. The good news for USC fans is it seems the hypothetical situation would need to be very significant for Bigelow to consider another option. I don’t think his participation in camps or combines affects his recruitment at all. Plenty of schools know what he can do with pads on and they’re all going after him.