Peter Tebin takes a look at the 2015 USC Trojans’ recruiting class as they look to improve on their 9-4 record from 2014.
Feb 4, 2015; Long Beach, CA, USA; Long Beach Poly High Jackrabbits cornerback Iman Marshall (left) embraces his father Carl Marshall after announcing his decision to attend the University of Southern California at press conference at Long Beach Poly. (Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
The 2015 college football season is still months away, but expectations will be high for USC. The Trojans finished up another strong signing period, landing them the top class of 2015. This placed the school ahead of some of the other top college powerhouses in the nation including Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia according to Scout.Com list of rankings.
(C+P) — The Trojans 2015 class includes four high school five-star recruits all in the top 35 players in the country. The list includes the number seven overall recruit defensive back Iman Marshall. Marshall is ranked as the top defensive back in the country and number two recruit from California. Along with Marshall, the Trojans also added linebacker Osa Masina and defensive lineman Rasheem Green to sure up the defense.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Trojans landed four-star recruit Ronal Jones II, five-star offensive lineman Chuma Edoga and four-star wide receiver De’Quan Hampton. Hampton a junior college transfer may be the biggest addition to an offense that will lose wide receiver Nelson Agholor to the NFL draft. Last season, Hampton finished with 854 yards and 12 touchdowns for Long Beach City College.
While the hype is around the 2015 signing class, the team will also have a great crop of returning starters from last season’s team. That includes third-year quarterback Cody Kessler, who elected to skip the NFL draft and return to help the Trojans fight for a National title as a senior. Last season, Kessler improved at the position. He completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 3,826 yards and 39 touchdowns. Along with the jump in those three core stats, Kessler also saw his interceptions drop to five on the season in 452 passing attempts.
The Trojans enter the 2015 season looking to improve on the 9-4 record from a year ago. The upcoming season looks very promising for the Trojans. After opening the season at home against Arkansas State and Idaho, the Trojans welcome Stanford to town. Following the team’s three-game home stand, the Trojans head on the road to take on Arizona State before making a trip home to take on Washington. The team’s only real matchup outside of the conference comes on the road at Notre Dame Oct. 17.
USC and Notre Dame meet annually, with each team winning splitting in their last four contests with the Trojans last win at Notre Dame Stadium coming back in 2011. After the trip to Notre Dame, the Trojans remaining six games come against the Pac 12. This includes games on the road at California, Colorado and Oregon. The team’s three remaining home games come against Utah, Arizona and UCLA.
Now it will be up to Steve Sarkisian and his staff to put a winning team on the field after a strong finish in 2014. Sarkisian guided his team to four wins in their last five games including a win over Notre Dame before beating Nebraska 45-42 in the National University Bowl. Along with a very favorable schedule, the Trojans will move forward with all of their scholarships this season opening up the doors to the team’s success moving forward.