USC recruiting update: Steve Sarkisian on the 'science' of recruiting

USC recruiting update: Steve Sarkisian on the 'science' of recruiting
USC Coach Steve Sarkisian applaudes the Trojans'victory over Colorado on Oct. 18. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota serves as a reminder that recruiting is not a science.

Oregon's quarterback was considered a two- to three-star recruit by scouting services during his senior season at St. Louis School in Honolulu, Hawaii. He had scholarship offers from Oregon, Memphis and Washington.


USC Coach Steve Sarkisian, who offered Mariota a scholarship at Washington, said star rankings don’t always accurately predict how recruits will develop.

USC has 17 recruits committed to its 2015 recruiting class. The average star rating is 3.71, according to

"I don't think it's always about taking every five-star you can get your hands on," Sarkisian said. "I think there's something to be said about a two- or three-star who comes in with a chip on his shoulder and has something to prove as well."

Coaches visit Jones

It was no coincidence that after USC coaches traveled to Texas on Sunday, running back Ronald Jones announced that he had withdrawn his commitment to Oklahoma State.

Offensive coordinator Clay Helton, offensive line coach Tim Drevno and running backs coach Johnny Nansen visited Jones, who attends North High in McKinney, Texas.

"To my OSU fam, I'd like to thank you all for supporting and believing in me," Jones wrote in a tweet Sunday night. "However, I have decided to open up my recruitment."

Jones told's Mike Farrell that he narrowed his schools to USC and Notre Dame.

Jones took an official visit to USC the first weekend of December.

He could be the third running back to commit in the class.

Ware draws visit

Helton, Drevno and Nansen also visited running back commit Aca'Cedric Ware from Cedar Hill, Texas, on Sunday.

Ware committed to USC in July and took an official visit in September.

Dead period


A recruiting dead period began Monday and will run through Jan. 14.

Coaches cannot watch recruits compete or make in-person visits. They can continue to write and telephone recruits.

Here's the list of recruits currently committed to USC:

Ricky Town, QB, Ventura St. Bonaventure
Sam Darnold, QB, San Clemente
De'Quan Hampton, WR, Long Beach City College
Tristan Payton, WR, Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast
Aca'Cedric Ware, RB, Cedar Hill (Texas)
Dominic Davis, RB, Mission Hills Alemany
Chuma Edoga, OL, Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern
Roy Hemsley, OL, Los Angeles Windward
Clayton Johnston, OL, Anaheim Servite
Cole Smith, C, Mission Viejo
Tyler Petite, TE, Moraga Campolindo
Jacob Daniel, DL, Fresno Clovis North
Noah Jefferson, DL, Henderson (Nev.) Liberty
Christian Rector, DL, Los Angeles Loyola
Cameron Smith, LB, Granite Bay
Taeon Mason, CB, Pasadena Muir
Isaiah Langley, CB, Pleasanton Foothill