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Who Is Set to Clean Up in Pac-12 Football Recruiting?

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 1:  Tommy Trojan, mascot of the USC Trojans entertains the crowd during an intermission in the 2004 Rose Bowl game against the Michigan Wolverines on January 1, 2004 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. USC defeated Michigan 28-14. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterJanuary 15, 2013

At one point in this recruiting season, USC had the No. 1 class of 2013, according to 247Sports. Now the Trojans are trying to hang on to No. 9 on Scout.

UCLA is right behind USC at No. 10 and that's probably a little too close for comfort if you don the cardinal and gold spirit wear. Washington is also still in the hunt to land the highest-ranked Pac-12 recruiting class—the Huskies are sitting at No. 11.

So who's set to clean up? 

USC can't afford more than 15 scholarships per year (plus a few early enrollees), so with its current 14-member class, it needs to add about four more commits. But the big recruiting wave that USC was riding two months ago has somewhat disappeared after five players decommitted from the class of 2013.

UCLA may try to get another USC commit (hello, Eddie Vanderdoes) before it's done with its poaching of other Pac-12 teams—over the last two years, UCLA has flipped players like Ellis McCarthy from Cal and Eldridge Massington from USC.

The fact that UCLA is now landing the big talent that only USC used to reel in is impressive. It's also worth noting that UCLA football is on a definite rise while USC football has taken an abrupt turn downward.

USC's class of 2013 is small, but it's littered with ridiculous talent, judging strictly by the star power. Head coach Lane Kiffin landed nine of Scout's Top 100 prospects—the only team that has more than USC is Alabama with 10. USC also landed six 5-stars—the next closest team is Alabama with four 5-stars.

USC will probably drop in the rankings as national signing day gets closer (February 6) because of its limited number of available scholarships, but it has one number that will be hard for everyone—including Alabama—to beat: its commits' average star rating of 4.43.

That's the very definition of cleaning up in recruiting. 

Yes, USC's ranking will drop as more schools add a lot more commits, but if it can hang on to the commits it currently has, it will have done an extraordinary job of recruiting.

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