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February 11, 2007
2007 is a Wrap
As we close the book on the Trojans 2007 recruiting class, the final week before signing day helped cap off a spectacular class for the Men of Troy.
In classic Pete Carroll fashion, the Trojans close with authority and flare.
Coming down the home stretch, USC had only two commitments on the defensive line; defensive end Everson Griffen and defensive tackle Da'John Harris. That all changed a week ago as the Trojans picked up commitments from two more defensive ends; Christian Tupou and Trey Henderson.
Tupou, who's 6-foot-3-, 260-pounds could end up finding a home as a defensive tackle. Henderson, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound lineman will make his way to USC all the way from Canada. Like Tupou, Henderson could find himself growing into a defensive tackle.
With USC losing five star offensive guard James Wilson to Florida, many USC fans were wondering who would be his replacement. While USC didn't officially add another offensive lineman for their class, you may find a position change or two from players already on the USC roster.
Two names to look out for include Derek Simmons and Alex Parsons. Both Simmons and Parsons possess great versatility, and have enough athleticism to make the switch to the offensive line.
Keep in mind California is very deep with talent on the offensive line in 2008 and USC already has a commitment from five-star hopeful Matt Kalil, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound prototype left tackle.
It came down to signing day for perhaps the most electric football player in the nation to announce his collegiate intentions. Joe McKnight, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound do-it-all athlete from River Ridge (La.), might be the closest thing to Reggie Bush since the Heisman winning running back came out of Helix high school in San Diego.
McKnight is the type of player college coaches dream of. He's equipped with lightning speed, great vision, and dazzling moves in the open field. McKnight could play any skill position he wants, but he'll come to USC as a running back, and take over the versatile role Reggie Bush vacated just a year ago.
McKnight will get his touches behind the line of scrimmage and also lining up as a receiver. It's this type of versatility that the Trojan offense lacked last season.
Look for McKnight to hold the football as much as possible, because he's a true homerun threat. As a senior, McKnight gained 709 yards on 45 carries, over 15 yards per rush with 14 touchdowns, and as a receiver he caught 24 passes for 735 yards, an average of 30.63 yards per reception including 13 touchdowns.
USC's recruiting class finished second in the nation behind Florida, who USC edged out just a year ago for the top class in America. USC had finished with the number one recruiting class three years in a row, and came up just short of winning that title for the fourth consecutive time.
However, USC did finish number one overall in quality, with a star average of 4.22, the highest ranking ever.
USC and Florida looked to have developed a bicoastal recruiting rivalry, and that should be something to pay close attention to as the class of 2008 gets stared.