Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Text Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

August 1, 2014

Newcomer introduction

Below is a quick introduction to each of USC's incoming players. There's also recap of what happened while they were being recruited plus video from signing day.

Jordan Austin

OL 6'5" 267 (High School)
Claremont, CA
Claremont HS
3 stars 5.6 rating
committed: 6/28/13 early enrollee

Notes: The recruiting process heated up for Austin back in July of 2012. That's when he received his first scholarship offer from Colorado. After that, things got rolling for him. San Diego State, Washington and Nevada were the next three to offer scholarships. By June 2013 he added USC to the list. He committed to the Trojans shortly after.

After Lane Kiffin was fired, Austin became a target for plenty of schools again. But he stuck to his commitment and even enrolled early.

He went through spring and summer workouts and has looked very solid. He's also gained a little weight.

Although he was rated as a three-star prospect by rivals.com, Austin looks strong out there. He could have some sort of situational role on the team. He was a three year starter in high school and is also very athletic.

Chris Brown

OL 6'6" 285 (High School)
Los Angeles, CA
Loyola HS
4 stars 5.8
committed: 12/16/13

Notes: Brown was a prospect that really made a name for himself during the 2013 season. In September he had scholarship offers from Washington State and San Diego State. By the end of the process schools like Arizona, Nebraska, Oregon, USC, UCLA and Texas A&M had offered him as well.

Brown chose the Trojans in December after making a top four of UCLA, Texas A&M and Oregon.

He's projected to play right tackle although he's athletic enough to play several different positions. He could find himself in the rotation quickly with the number of linemen on the team.

Bryce Dixon

TE 6'4" 230 (High School)
Ventura, CA
St. Bonaventure
4 stars 5.8 rating
committed: 1/4/14

Notes: Dixon was one of the most sought after tight ends in the country and had a very impressive list of scholarship offers. He received his first scholarship offer from Miami (Fla.) in September of his junior year and eventually collected more than two dozen. When he finally did narrow things down, he visited Oregon and Florida and considered those schools before getting to his final list. He eventually chose USC over UCLA and Miami at the Army-American bowl.

At that bowl game, Dixon was looking very trim and almost like a wide receiver. But over the summer, he's been putting on a steady amount of weight. He's an explosive receiving option from the tight end position and should be able to contribute this season in some way.

Malik Dorton

DE/OLB 6'3" 227 (High School)
Bellflower, CA
St. John Bosco
3 stars 5.7
committed: 8/23/13

Notes: Dorton started the process with scholarship offers from Utah and Utah State. But after a dominant junior year, his list of scholarship offers grew to more than two dozen. That list included schools like USC, UCLA, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

He chose the Trojans before the start of the 2013 season and stuck with them through all the turmoil. The new coaching staff also stuck with Dorton even though they never offered him a scholarship when they were at Washington.

Dorton talked heavily with the coaching staffs at Arizona State and Washington towards the end of the process but eventually stuck with the Trojans.

The Trojans have a big need on the edge so Dorton could find his way into some playing time. But he likely needs some time to develop himself for the college level.

Jalen Greene

QB 6'3" 195 (High School)
Gardena, CA
Junipero Serra
3 stars 5.7
committed: 12/22/13 early enrollee

Notes: Recruiting was a little insane for Jalen Greene. He originally committed to Boise State and Chris Peterson's staff. When Steve Sarkisian left Washington for USC and Peterson went to Washington, Greene followed Peterson and committed to the Huskies.

But it wasn't long after his commitment that Greene accompanied Adoree' Jackson to the Las Vegas Bowl to watch USC dismantle Fresno State. Shortly after that, Greene had a scholarship offer from USC and decided to commit.

He then enrolled early to go through spring and summer football. He's shown a tremendous arm but trouble with the technical side of the game and with his accuracy. He has some upside and could play down the road.

Ajene Harris

ATH 5'11" 170 (High School)
Los Angeles, CA
Crenshaw HS
3 stars 5.6
committed: 11/7/13

Notes: Ajene Harris lead Crenshaw to a CIF City Section title as a quarterback but understood that he was going to play elsewhere in college. Harris originally committed to San Diego State in September of his senior season but flipped to USC in November. The new staff kept him on board and it seems like he's set to be a wide receiver (although he could play either corner or receiver).

Although he wasn't an early enrollee, Harris showed up to every spring practice to watch. He's looked very impressive in the summer and could be a factor since the receiver position is so thin.

Don Hill

DE/OLB 6'3" 240 (High School)
Boise, ID
Timberline B
3 stars 5.5
committed: 12/15/13 early enrollee

Notes: Hill was committed to Washington back when Steve Sarkisian's staff was in place there. He de-committed and visited USC shortly after Sarkisian left Washington. He eventually committed to USC and enrolled early.

He fills a big need at that hybrid pass rushing spot and he certainly looks the part more than most prospects do. But he's coming of an Achilles injury, so his immediate impact could be limited.

Adoree' Jackson

ATH 5'10" 172 (High School)
Gardena, CA
Junipero Serra
committed: 2/5/14
5 stars 6.1

Notes: Jackson was the number one player in California and arguably in the entire country. And since his family is originally from East St. Louis (Illinois), there was some worry from USC fans that he would leave the state. But he eventually chose USC over UCLA, Tennessee, Florida, LSU and almost every other school in the country.

Jackson is supposed to play receiver for the Trojans although corner is still an ever so slight possibility. Jackson should make an impact immediately. But he needs to focus on one position to do that.

Rahshead Johnson

WR 5'11" 175 (High School)
Long Beach, CA
4 stars 5.9
committed: 1/4/14

Notes: Johnson was a target for USC's old staff but they never offered him a scholarship. So, he committed to Washington back in the summer of 2012. After Ed Orgeron took over, Johnson briefly de-committed from Washington only to commit again to Sarkisian's staff the same night. When that staff went to USC, they eventually offered Johnson again and he committed to USC in January.

He has great speed and could play on either side of the ball. He did so in high school and was talented enough that his position is still up for debate. He could be a situational player this year.

Toa Loabendahn

OL 6'3" 290 (High School)
La Habra, CA
La Habra
4 stars 5.8
committed: 6/11/12 early enrollee

Notes: It feels like Lobendahn is a redshirt sophomore already. He committed to USC back in June of 2012. He liked Stanford a lot as well but he committed to USC and never wavered throughout everything that happened.

And throughout spring and summer, it seems like he could fit into the starting rotation without much issue. All freshmen will have some problems against college competition and some of them will be big but Lobendahn seems like that Max Tuerk type. He's expected to contribute in some way.

Jonathan Lockett

DB 5'11" 172 (High School)
Santa Ana, CA
Mater Dei
4 stars 5.8
committed: 12/11/13

Notes: Lockett was always interested in the Trojans but the old coaching staff never extended a scholarship offer. So the four-star corner committed to Washington in July of 2013. After Sarkisian became the head coach and Lockett got a scholarship offer from USC, he de-committed from Washington and followed the staff to USC.

He's a big time play maker in every area of the game. He played corner, receiver and he was a return man in high school. His coverage skills have always been a little suspect but he has an opportunity to be a starter later in his career.

Damien Mama

OL 6'5" 360 (High School)
Bellflower, CA
St. John Bosco
4 stars 6.0
committed: 2/5/14

Notes: Mama is an incredibly gifted player that moves as quickly as much smaller men do. He was wanted by everyone throughout the entire process. He had a top four of Alabama, BYU, UCLA and USC before eventually narrowing that list down and choosing USC on signing day. With the benefit of a college training, he could be ready to go quickly. But it wouldn't be a big surprise if he needed some time to adjust.

Uchenna Nwosu

DB 6'2" 185 (High School)
Harbor City, CA
3 stars 5.5
committed: 10/8/13

Notes: Nwosu was hearing from a few big time programs but Oregon State was the early favorite. They offered him a scholarship back in June 2013 and they were the first FBS program to do so. Ed Orgeron and USC offered him in October and he committed. He was in contact with the Washington coaches throughout the process so when they were hired, it was an easy transition for him.

USC projected him to play either will or sam linebacker. He played outside linebacker in high school but he's built like a safety right now. Some schools wanted him at safety. He'll definitely benefit from a college weight program and can be a solid contributor down the road.

Claude Pelon

DT 6'5" 285 (High School)
Mesa, AZ
Mesa C.C.
4 stars 5.8
committed: 12/12/13 early enrollee

Notes: Pelon is an Florida native that ended up playing junior college in Mesa (Ariz.). At one time or another, he was considering Arizona State, Miami, Nebraska, Washington and USC. Washington became the clear frontrunner during the middle of the 2013 season but Ed Orgeron eventually pulled them back into it. After USC hired Washington's staff, Pelon's destination seemed obvious.

In the spring, Pelon got into better shape everyday and eventually started to play very well. He needs to play well this season because he'll likely contribute regardless of his play.

John Plattenburg

DB 5'11" 187 (High School)
Houston, TX
3 stars 5.7
committed: 11/19/13

Notes: Plattenburg is originally from Corona (Calif.) and played at Centennial before moving to Houston. He was wide open for most of the recruiting process and only got his list down to thirteen schools before making a commitment. He originally committed to UCLA in November. But when Sarkisian's staff was hired at USC things changed. They had offered Plattenburg a scholarship to Washington and after they offered him a chance to play at USC, he flipped.

Plattenburg will add depth to the corner position his first year and could contribute down the road.

Lamont Simmons

DB 6'2" 185 (High School)
Jacksonville, FL
3 stars 5.5
committed: 2/5/14

Notes: Lamont Simmons was a virtual unknown until the summer of 2013. That's when he started to get some impressive scholarship offers. He built a top five of Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Georgia Tech during that time but everything changed during the season. Rutgers eventually pulled ahead and he committed to the Scarlet Knights in October of 2013.

But by November, he was back on the market and talking to schools all over the country. A late visit to USC with the new coaching staff sealed the deal. Simmons said it felt like home and he committed on signing day.

Simmons gives USC a tall corner, which they don't currently have on the roster. Because of that and his ability, the staff could find a role for him right away.

John Smith

DB 6'1" 207 (High School)
Long Beach, CA
5 stars 6.1
committed: 2/5/14

Notes: Smith was sought after by every program across the country and took his time to make a decision. He made a top four of USC, UCLA, Notre Dame and Oregon just before signing day. He privately narrowed it to USC and Oregon and didn't make his final decision until right before he announced publicly. He almost went to Oregon but chose USC at the end.

The plan is for Smith to start out at wide receiver but his talents as a safety and some depth concerns at the position might force him to defense.

Viane Talamaivao

OL 6'3" 300
Corona, CA
4 stars 5.9
committed: 5/30/13

Notes: Talamaivao committed to Alabama back in may of 2013 but USC's coaching chaos may have changed his mind. He remained committed to the Tide until mid November and even took and official visit. But shortly after an unofficial visit to USC for the Stanford game, Talamaivao flipped to USC. After the Trojans made their final coaching changes, he stayed committed.

Talamaivao could probably contribute in some way this season if called upon. He was one of the top high school linemen in the country and he's looked solid in the limited work we've seen him do.

Olajuwon Tucker

DE 6'4" 225 (High School)
Gardena, CA
Junipero Serra
4 stars 5.8
committed: 10/19/13

Notes: This was a late steal thanks to Ed Orgeron. He was offered by USC in mid October and committed to them just one week later. He chose the Trojans over schools like Arizona State, Miami, Utah and Washington State.

After the coaching change he decided to stick with USC and the Trojans decided to stick with him. And for good reason. Tucker was a heck of an outside linebacker and he could make an early impact in his career. He's projected to play mike for USC.




Latest Headlines:

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos TrojanSports.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2007 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.