Following a resurgent season for University of Southern California football, culminating in a Rose Bowl triumph, big things were expected for the 2017 recruiting class. Heading into National Signing Day, Coach Clay Helton had provided a very solid recruiting class, but there was still a feeling of unfulfilled potential from the Trojan faithful. Emerging from National Signing Day, it is safe to say Coach Helton delivered.
USC had been linked with 6 remaining high level prospects, and remarkably, all six committed to what 24/7 Sports is now calling the Number Four recruiting class in the nation. All six of the recruits that officially committed today were at least four stars, with three of them being ranked five stars by a variety of recruiting outlets. Austin Jackson, a 6 foot 6 hulk of an offensive lineman from Phoenix, Arizona, looks like a candidate to come and fight for playing time in his freshman year after many key departures from the offensive line this offseason.
The highest rated prospect to commit today was five-star Joseph Lewis, a 6 foot 2 Wide Receiver from Augustus Hawkins High in Los Angeles. Lewis was a huge addition given the departure of star Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who departed early for the NFL draft as a Junior. Lewis, the fourth ranked receiver in the nation, and 16th overall player according to ESPN, will attempt to fill the large void left by JuJu's exit, and looks likely to challenge early for playing time.
As usual, National Signing Day had its fill of dramatic and entertaining commitments. Among the Trojan commits, Levi Jones' and Josh Falo's commitments stand out as the most memorable. Levi Jones, a four star outside linebacker from Florida, faked out the audience by pretending to commit to both Florida and Florida State before finally settling to commit at USC.
Josh Falo, a 4-star tight end from Sacramento, committed to USC by hosting an elaborate haka dance on a football field, before turning to the camera with a cardinal and gold jersey on to reveal his commitment. The two other key signings of the day, five-star defensive tackle Jay Tufele, and four-star athlete Greg Johnson, look like important pieces of the class of 2017.
These six young men are now part of a 23-member recruiting class that stands head and shoulders above any other in the Pac-12. After a season that put USC back on the map as a national powerhouse, none can deny that Coach Helton parlayed that momentum into a recruiting class that has set the stage for huge things to come.