Memo to college football fans across the country: You might not like Lane Kiffin, but you better get used to him. Yes, the coach everyone loves to hate has the prohibitive BCS National Championship favorite heading into 2012, but we already knew that. The scary thing though? The Trojans aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
That point was hammered home again today, when the Trojans picked up a big-time verbal commitment from the class of 2013, in the form of Joilet (HS) IL running back Ty Isaac. Listed by some services as the No. 1 back in the country, Isaac made his intentions known announcing on Twitter:
"Committed to The University of Southern California."
And really, who doesn’t like a guy who’s blunt with his tweets?
In all seriousness though, this is another huge get for Kiffin in his staff, as they continue on a recruiting roll unlike anyone in college football right now. Despite having only 15 scholarships to work with last winter, USC still managed to land a class that was widely regarded as one of the Top 10 nationally, and also a class that was indisputably the best player for player in the country. And things have continued to roll this spring, as the commitments continue to fly, despite more limited scholarship numbers. Along with Isaac, the Trojans have landed Max Browne, No. 1 quarterback prospect in the country, as well as Maryland’s Kenny Bigelow, the top defensive end in high school football right now. They’ve also landed a couple of high-level four-star recruits, including local prospects Kyle Fitts (defensive end) and Chris Hawkins (defensive back).
What’s maybe most impressive about what the Trojans have done though, is that they’ve not only been able to land the high-quality players, but also high-quality players at positions of need. And no one personifies that quite like Isaac. Remember that while Trojans made headlines last fall thanks to Matt Barkley’s right arm, as a general rule Kiffin much prefers the ground-and-pound, run-heavy, pro-style offense. Next year Curtis McNeal looks like he’ll be getting the bulk of the carries, but with little depth behind him, the running back position on the 2013 Trojans appears to be wide open.
Enter Isaac, who could step in and immediately see carries. At 6’2 215 lbs., he has the size to be a college running back right now, and the stats seem to indicate an ability to step in and play right away also. Isaac finished his junior season with over 2,100 yards on the ground, and had a game to remember in Joilet High School’s season finale, rushing for 515 yards and six touchdowns. Yes, you read those numbers correctly. Much like Al Bundy, he scored six touchdowns in a single football game. And added a cool 515 yards to boot.
And maybe the scariest thing about what’s going on at USC, is that they’re far from done. Again, they’re limited in scholarships, but remain on the inside track with a number of high school football’s best prospects. Five-star California safety S’ua Cravens seems to be a heavy USC lean, and another top running back Justin Davis, who will choose later this week between USC, Cal and Washington.
Meaning, there’s a real possibility that two of the nation’s top running backs could be teammates by the fall of 2013.
Forget Matt Barkley.
There’s a reason USC has always been known as “Tailback U.”
For all his insight, opinion and articles on college football, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.