USC Football Recruiting: Trojans Get Verbal from Big 2014 Defensive Tackle

Rick McMahan@@RickMcMahanSenior Writer IFebruary 25, 2013

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USC held its annual football recruiting junior day on Saturday, and it paid immediate dividends.

Tashon Smallwood, a rising 6'1", 285-pound 3-star prospect, apparently liked what he saw at the "meet and greet," and wasted no time jumping on the offer he received from recruiting coordinator, Ed Orgeron.

Although he hadn't planned on committing, according to ESPN's Blair Angulo, those plans changed for Smallwood who said, "The recruiting process has picked up for me, but this offer came up and USC seemed like the best place for me. I’m excited.”

So was Orgeron, who Smallwood claimed was "so happy that he couldn’t eat. We were eating when I told him and as soon as that happened he couldn't eat.”

For those who know Orgeron and his ample girth, that must mean he was indeed pleased to hear Smallwood's pledge.

In Smallwood, the Trojans get a talented interior lineman whose prowess has resulted in 40 sacks over the last two years and whom even bigger things are expected from in 2013.

And after the mass defections of verbally committed defensive linemen in the last year when four USC pledges reneged on their declarations, getting a verbal from a guy like Smallwood must be welcome news indeed.

Of course, as anyone who follows high school recruiting knows—and as last year provided evidence of—verbal commitments often aren't worth the time taken to utter them when it comes time to sign on the dotted line of a letter of intent.

Which brings us to the obligatory "out clause."

Writing for, Greg Biggins quoted Smallwood's father Shonte as saying, "Tashon still plans to take his trips, he only gave a verbal and the coaches know that. They're going to keep recruiting him hard like he's not committed and work hard for him. Tashon wants to take all five of his trips and is still open to other schools."

In other words, don't hold your breath on Smallwood's becoming a Trojan until the letter of intent is signed and delivered next February.

Tashon Smallwood currently holds eight offers, including those from top programs such as Oklahoma and Miami (Fla.).