LOS ANGELES -- With scholarship limitations impacting the next three recruiting classes, the USC coaches are encouraging commits to enroll early -- getting the player into the program as soon as possible to hopefully make an impact as a true freshman.
Enrolling 21 scholarship players this past fall all but guarantees that USC will bring in at least four early enrollees this spring. USC can backdate four players to last year's class -- which didn't have the NCAA-sanctioned restrictions. But during the final media call of the season, head coach Lane Kiffin said he expects the Trojans to bring in five or six early enrollees, which is possible since additional early enrollees will count against the 2012 limit of 15 scholarships.
Committed early enrollees
Linebacker Scott Starr (Norco, Calif./Norco): Starr committed a few moments after receiving a scholarship offer from USC, then worked hard to position himself to graduate early and get to USC as quickly as possible. To say he's looking forward to seeing playing time at USC would be an understatement. In a short amount of time, the linebacker position has become a real strength for the Trojans, and Starr will add some bulk -- as well as speed -- to a position group that is one of the youngest on the roster. Starr has the ability to play all three positions, but his best opportunity this spring could come at middle linebacker, as Chris Galippo's departure will leave a void behind starter Lamar Dawson. Starr also should have a chance to jump right in on special teams duty. It wouldn't be an absolute shock to see him redshirt next season, but it's tough to bet against him accomplishing things he sets his mind to. And right now, he's looking at seeing the field in his first season.