The Longshot: USC
USC enters this decision as the longshot, but Steve Sarkisian and his assistants have done a very good job of recruiting since this staff was put together by Sarkisian. USC DL coach Chris Wilson is the primary recruiter for Tim Settle while the Trojans have also had recruiting ace Tee Martin as the secondary recruiter for Settle throughout the process.
USC has been a place where plenty of highly rated freshmen have been able to get tons of early playing time including Adoree’ Jackson and JuJu Smith this past season. USC would likely be able to give Settle the chance to gain some early playing time or maybe even start depending on how well he does.
USC definitely is one of the top programs in terms of having a nationally-recognized brand due to the success of Pete Carroll with guys like Reggie Bush, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart. Even with the struggles of Lane Kiffin, USC is still a very well recognized program nationally which definitely is a major boost.
One thing that hurts USC is the proximity to home as the only game the Trojans are slated to play east of the Mississippi is when they play Notre Dame compared to Virginia Tech being the in-state program and Louisville being in the ACC. With Oklahoma State and Washington State being eliminated, it seems like that is a big factor.
The proximity to home factor hurts USC significantly especially since Virginia Tech has a great defensive tradition also while Louisville had tons of defensive success this past season. The Trojans have a shot, but are definitely the longshots.
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