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July 27, 2012It is not even August yet and the Trojans are almost out of scholarships.
The Trojans flexed their national recruiting muscle by landing one of the best players in Kentucky when four-star defensive end Jason Hatcher from Louisville (Ky.) Trinity decided to join an already impressive class that is currently ranked No.1 in the country.
"I'm going to the University of Southern California," Hatcher said. "USC seemed like the perfect fit, but I just had to talk it with my family. I sat down and talked with USC coaches some more and realized it was a fit.
"When I was at USC, I would have conversations with the coaches, and it was about the facts of life. I had a conversation with Coach Tee Martin, he's the receivers coach and the recruiter of this area.
"Life is about taking steps and Coach Martin basically moved from Lexington to out there [Los Angeles]. Him moving out there was one of the steps. You can't be afraid sometimes you have to go through things to get to the end of the road.
"My contact with USC was limited until Coach Martin's arrival to USC. Once he got out there my recruitment and relationship with the school skyrocketed."
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound defensive end chose the Trojans over Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Louisville. He may still visit Florida and South Carolina.
Hatcher had also offers from SEC powerhouse Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska and Notre Dame.
The Trojans recruited Hatcher as weak-side defensive end and has drawn some comparison to USC great and NFL first-round draft choice, Nick Perry.
A standout at The Opening, he clocked an outstanding 4.68 in the 40-yard dash and leaped a very impressive, for a player his size, 34-inch vertical.
As a junior, Hatcher accounted for 40 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks, three fumble recoveries for the country's top high football programs.