USC, which has been trailing UCLA in the football recruiting battle, won a head-to-head matchup Monday night. Minute-to-minute, even.
The Trojans, who had Marcus Hopkins in their corner all along, got a verbal commitment from the San Diego Lincoln tailback, but only after nearly losing him to the Bruins, thanks to a home visit by UCLA assistant coach Don Riley. Hopkins' phone call with USC assistant Bob April less than an hour after Riley's visit was the clincher.
Meanwhile, All-Southern Section running back George Hemingway of Colton, one of the top prospects on the West Coast, said he will attend Colorado. Give former Pomona High star J.J. Flannigan, now playing for the Buffaloes, an assist since Hemingway said their talk convinced him to pick Colorado.
"Colorado's recruiting me as a fullback, but I really want to play outside linebacker," Hemingway said. "But they'll decide where to play me."
Other verbal commitments heading into Wednesday's signing day include punter Alan Glazer of Beverly Hills to Colorado State; running back-linebacker Keith Bowen of Westchester and defensive back Eric Crawford of Venice to Arizona State; linebackers Cornell Collier of Woodland Hills Taft and Jason Wilborn of Anaheim Canyon and offensive lineman Jim Difilippo of Fullerton Troy to California; running back Sean Hampton of Sylmar to Hawaii, and wide receiver Trevor Doyle of Canyon Country Canyon to Weber State.