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Florida State University

Clay Helton and USC close signing day with a flourish to bring in highly regarded class

Clay Helton and USC close signing day with a flourish to bring in highly regarded class

USC found itself in a two-strike hole going into national signing day Wednesday, but managed a big hit.

Coming off a season in which Steve Sarkisian was fired as coach five games into the season and Clay Helton was named permanent coach before a two-game skid to end an 8-6 year, plus a staff in flux until late January, USC still managed to sign a 20-scholarship recruiting class Wednesday that was rated 11th best in college football by Scout.com.

Previously uncommitted defensive backs Jack Jones of Long Beach Poly and Jamel Cook of Miami Central, running back Vavae Malepeai of Mililani, Hawaii, offensive lineman E.J. Price of Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer, and defensive linemen...

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