The USC Trojans enjoyed a fantastic summer of recruiting heading into the 2012 season. While the team is still restricted in the number of scholarships they can offer, that didn’t stop Lane Kiffin from signing just about every prospect they wanted and earning the top recruiting class in the country.
They had filled their class before the season started and stayed packed for 99 days. Now, though, they have a spot to fill after the No. 37 overall recruit and No. 2 rated athlete Max Redfield officially de-committed from USC on Sunday.
Redfield’s decisions leaves the Trojans with a decision to make. There is still an outside chance that Redfield could still end up with USC (though the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are much more likely), so Lane Kiffin and company need to decide if they want to hold tight and hope he comes back or if they want to move on to their Plan B. Luckily for USC, their Plan B is still really good.
The Trojans are in great standing with a trio of highly regarded safeties who could benefit from the sudden opening in USC’s recruiting class. Leon McQuay III (Armwood, Fla./Seffner), Tahaan Goodman (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga), and Priest Willis (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos de Nize) have all stayed on the Trojans’ radar through the fall. USC is even the leader in the recruitment of McQuay and Goodman.
McQuay took an unofficial visit to USC over Labor Day weekend and has maintained that the Trojans have remained among his preferred schools. He remains uncommitted at this point, despite taking official trips to the Vanderbilt Commodores and Oregon Ducks. The No. 3 rated safety has two more visit lined up with the Florida State Seminoles and Michigan Wolverines, but has been working on a return trip to Los Angeles. That trip might come sooner rather than later now that the Trojans have a scholarship for him.
Goodman, on the other hand, has been leaning towards USC for months. His good friend and high school teammate Chris Hawkins, a four-star cornerback already committed to USC, has been in the four-star safety’s ear about joining forces in the Coliseum. Goodman, the No. 8 rated safety prospect was supposed to take an official visit to the LSU Tigers this weekend, but cancelled it and could be rushing to snap up the open spot to stay closer to home.
If USC decides to wait on Redfield, they’ll likely be strung along all the way up to National Signing Day in February. The Trojans have an incredibly small margin of error under their scholarship limitations and could miss out on some excellent players who will be looking to make early decisions if the team decides to sit on their open scholarship.
For that reason, and the fact that Lane Kiffin doesn’t seem like the type to enjoy being someone’s “second choice,” expect the Trojans to move on and sign another four-star prospect sooner rather than later.