USC’s national signing day started out fast and ended with a bang. USC started outside the top ten heading into NSD, but it was only a matter of time before the Trojans made a huge leap to get themselves into the elite conversion. The anticipated jump came in a big way on national signing day as USC signed 8 top-level recruits. They were able to make a roaring stretch throughout the day to become the 4th ranked class in the country and 1st in the PAC-12, continuing their streak of Pac-12 recruiting dominance.
Clay Helton did a terrific job of keeping the Elite Southern Section talent in Los Angeles. The class is highlighted by former Mater Dei Stars J.T. Daniels (#3 PP QB) Amon-Ra St.Brown (#2 WR) and Solomon Tuliaupupu (#3 ILB). The trio led the Monarchs to a perfect 15-0 record, a state championship and a number #1 national ranking.
The day started out great with the signing of 4 star ATH (athlete) Devon Williams, climaxed with 5 star cornerback Olaijah Griffin, and came to a sweet ending when 4 star corner Isaac-Taylor Stuart flipped from Alabama to USC. Getting the top 5 class is even more impressive considering USC added five less recruits than anyone else in that elite group. However, things weren’t perfect for the Trojans since 4 star defensive lineman Tuli Letuigase decided to put on a Washington hat on Wednesday after verbally committing to USC this past summer. Still, the class as a whole is extremely exciting and these are some of the highlights.
Devon Williams 6’4 220 (Lancaster CA) 4 Star ATH (No1 ATH)
The Trojans were able to beat out Oregon for Williams’ services. Williams was the number 1 ranked athlete through most of the recruiting process for his elite athleticism and it looks like the Trojans are going to use him at wide receiver. With the possibility of him lining up opposite of 6’4 receiver Michael Pittman, PAC-12 corners will struggle guarding the mismatch machines. Williams possess all the physical skills to be an elite wide receiver. Having played quarterback for a decent portion of his high school career, Williams will need to polish is route running. However, that will come with time. He reminds me a lot of former USC star and current Steelers Wide Receiver Juju Smith-Schuster.
Amon-Ra St. Brown 5 star Receiver (Santa Ana) 5-11 185
This kid already has the most badass name in all of college football; maybe in all of sports. Amon-Ra St. Brown is a name fit for a legend. Hell, this kid sounds like a famous Egyptian Pharaoh or a Persian Prince. Amon-Ra is the younger brother of former Notre Dame Star Equanimeous St. Brown, which is another badass name for a football player. When you have insane family genes, you give your kids crazy names to make them sound intimidating as hell. Credit to St. Brown’s parents. Moving forward, Amon-Ra’s talent lives up to the hype surrounding is illuminous name.
As you can tell, Amon’s highlight reel speaks for itself. Although Brown does not possess his brother’s 6’6 235 pound frame, he possesses every skill to become an elite wide receiver. Brown has elite hands, 4.3 speed, and demonstrates explosive accelerating burst through cuts in his routes. Brown has the ceiling to become a once in a generation star and may draw comparisons to Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham in the near future. After losing Steven Mitchell and Deontay Burnett, St. Brown should be a favorite to be a first year starter in the slot for the Trojans.
5-star CB Olaijah Griffin (Long Beach California) 6’0 (No. 3 Corner (No. 28 Overall)
There seems to be a trend of 90’s rappers’ sons turning into division 1 football players. However, Warren G’s kid is without a doubt the best of the bunch. Trojans fans were livid when Griffin made his decision to put on the red and gold Wednesday afternoon. They have reason to be excited. Like his 5 star rating suggests, Griffin is a future star and USC’s shutdown corner of the future. He has good size at 6’0 and has the top end speed to cover receivers down the field as well as the quickness to break up shorter routes. Griffin has the upside to be highly drafted corner in the NFL if he develops smoothly at USC. Griffin is a player who should see the field early at USC.
5 Star Quarterback (No. 3 PP) JT Daniels 6-2 205 Santa Ana:
The National Gatorade player of the year is officially a Trojan after signing his letter of intent on Friday. The Mater Dei quarterback committed to the Trojans over the summer for the class of 2019, but a gap in USC’s QB recruiting and the expected departure of Sam Darnold opened a window for a special opportunity. Daniels is expected to take classes online and graduate a year ahead of schedule, reclassifying into the class of 2018. Daniels is the third ranked Pro-Style Quarterback according to 247 sports, despite graduating a full year early. Daniels started three years at Mater Dei and lead the team to a perfect record last fall.
Daniels may be one of the best quarterbacks in the class and is probably the most talented signal caller on USC’s roster. He does not have overwhelming arm strength, but he displays pinpoint accuracy and has throws with good timing on routes. He has shown he can read coverages and make good decisions. Daniels led the Monarchs to a perfect 15-0 record by throwing for 4,132 yards, 52 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions., all while playing in the Trinity League, which is widely regarded as the toughest league in High School Football. USC Football is looking bright with JT Daniels set as their quarterback of the future.