USC Football Recruiting: Will Disappointment in 2013 Shape Class of 2014?

Rick McMahan@@RickMcMahanSenior Writer IMay 9, 2013

USC made some news this week when the Trojans' received a pair of verbal commitments from JUCO defensive tackle Michael Wyche and prep defensive end Austin Maloata.

For some of those who follow the program, the news was met with a resounding "Who?"

While neither of these guys are the highest profile recruits, they are very good players—and what is more important, it may signal a small shift in recruiting philosophy by the recruiting department whose duties are overseen by defensive line coach and coordinator Ed Orgeron.

Still smarting over a series of last-minute defections by players who had given the Trojans their verbal pledges in the 2013 class, is it possible that Orgeron and the recruiting department have decided that lesser-known recruits might be the route when planning for USC's future?

This is not say that USC still isn't shooting for the "stars" when it comes to recruiting, because they are, as evidenced by the abundance of offers extended to a myriad of four- and five-star prep players.

However, like all good managers, Orgeron has decided to hedge his bets with the offers extended to Wyche and Maloata.

By getting in on the ground floor with these guys, it is more likely that they will honor their verbal commitments to USC by the time it comes to signing on the dotted line for where they will spend their college years.

Because in addition to their professed love for USC, they will also likely remember that the Trojans were there at the beginning of their recruiting and that kind of loyalty is usually rewarded.

And it should be noted that both of these guys play in the same unit that was jilted en masse by those players who defected in the 2013 class.

Call it an insurance policy if you want but Wyche and Maloata are solid players with a chance to be great in a unit that simply can't afford a repeat of 2013 this year when it comes to signing players.

Regardless of whether or not it signals a seismic shift in recruiting philosophy remains to be seen, but what can't be argued is that the recruiting department is crossing all of the "T"s and dotting all of the "I"s when it comes to shaping the class of 2014.

And that is a very good thing.