USC Now mailbag: Recruiting class ranking and Pete Carroll

USC Now mailbag: Recruiting class ranking and Pete Carroll
Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll looks on from the sidelines during the second half of Super Bowl XLIX. Seattle lost to the New England Patriots, 28-24. (David Goldman / Associated Press)

According to an article by Gary Klein, "USC Coach Steve Sarkisian brings in a recruiting class that is considered the second-best in the nation." No source for the ranking is given. Rivals and Scout are well known and respected services.

So which service is quoted by the Times?


--Jim Pazillo

Jim, you are referring to a shareline that accompanied the online version of Gary Klein's story on signing day.

The story noted that Iman Marshall, John Houston and Rasheem Green signed, “capping what by consensus of recruiting websites ranked as the second-best class in college football.”

Times editors made the decision to use 247 Sports' composite ranking, which "compiles rankings and ratings listed in the public domain by the major media recruiting services," according to its website. The print version of the Times' recruiting coverage included a chart with the 247 Sports attribution.

Scout and Rivals rated USC's class No. 1, ESPN rated it No. 3 and 247 Sports' composite was No. 2. I am not sure what other services 247 Sports includes.

It's not an exact average, but that would make it the consensus No. 2 class.

You are probably missing answering questions about Ed O, but if Ed Orgeron made a music video like [defensive back Iman Marshall] Biggie and presented it to Pat Haden, do you think he would be the head coach?

Last year 5 freshmen had major impacts…. Besides [Marshall], what new players will have the potential for major playing time?

Will all the recent recruits enroll at USC or are there some academic concerns with some?

Which nightmare is more troublesome for Pete Carroll? Pats or Longhorns?

Have you recovered from Sunday?

--David O'Brien

Five questions, one email. I like your style, David.

The only way anyone would want to see a music video featuring Ed Orgeron would be if Orgeron was actually singing. How great would that Cajun drawl be rapping about USC? But no, that certainly would not have earned him the job from Pat Haden.


It's difficult to predict which freshmen will make an immediate impact.

Marshall is a strong possibility because USC's secondary lacks depth.

USC needs to replace linebackers J.R. Tavai and Hayes Pullard. After watching Osa Masina in the Army All-American game, I expect he will make an impact at one of those spots.

Sophomore Bryce Dixon is as the only returning scholarship tight end who played last season, so Tyler Petite could play a lot. It remains to be seen if Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, who was academically ineligible, rejoins the team this spring.

Receivers Isaac Whitney and De'Quan Hampton will have a chance to make an immediate impact after the departures of Nelson Agholor and George Farmer.

From what I have heard, all of USC's recruits are in good academic standing and should be able to enroll for the summer sessions – but you can never be certain until they arrive on campus.

The more troublesome nightmare for Pete Carroll has to be the Patriots. Second and one and a chance to win the Super Bowl before a record-breaking television audience? I know USC fans are still mourning the outcome of the ill-fated fourth-and-two play in the 2006 Bowl Championship Series title game. But this was the Super Bowl. It gets no worse than that.

And no. I haven’t recovered. As a Seattle native and lifelong Seahawks fan, this Vine of Carroll’s reaction to the interception is haunting every night’s dreams.

After watching Super Bowl XLIX and seeing Pete Carroll make his second BIG football coaching error, as Bill Plaschke noted, how about designating this forever infamous Seattle Seahawks play as THE PASS?

--Calvin Lau

Calvin, you call it The Pass.

I'll refer to it as the worst play call in Super Bowl history and my most heartbreaking sports memory to date.

Questions about USC? Email me at or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages in a future USC Now mailbag