What’s The Rush?

For the past few years, Pete Carroll adopted a recruiting strategy he observed most notably at Florida State. Carroll learned that elite schools could afford to wait longer than other schools at securing commitments, and it was OK to have only four or five by December.
The idea was it made for better evaluations because you could actually see a recruit play his senior season. Well, USC’s been forced to modify that philosophy because the recruiting season’s become so much more accelerated.
The Trojans already seven commitments and are offering many other recruits. The reason is simple: If USC waits, other schools will use it against them, telling recruits they must not be wanted if they haven’t been offered a scholarship by the Trojans.
So now we have intense recruiting battles in March.

Kicking Concerns

El Camino College kicker Joe Houston might not have gained admission to USC, but former Nebraska kicker Jordan Congdon showed up for practice last weekend and reaffirmed he would join the Trojans next year.

Blind Item Of The Day

One of the top recruits USC signed in February must avoid getting any D’s this spring to gain eligibility for the fall. We hear the recruit, who hails from Southern California, has an extremely difficult teacher for one class, that gives some at his high school quite a bit of concern.

“About $10 Million”

With NFL teams currently saying wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett is a mid-to-late first round draft pick, would it have made a difference if he returned for his senior season and cracked the top 10?
“We’re only talking about $10 million,” one coach said.

Draft Buzz

NFL teams say they are wavering on whether wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett should be a mid-or-late first round choice. Jarrett’s Pro Day workout could answer those lingering questions.
Center Ryan Kalil is believed to be a first-round draft choice. Wide receiver Steve Smith’s become a prototype “third-down receiver” according to several sources. That could make him a second-or-third round pick, but he could fall if teams decide they can afford to wait and take him later.

Practice Recap

Quarterback Mark Sanchez worked more with the first team today, as players like John David Booty, Sam Baker and Sedrick Ellis were given a break. Tailback C.J. Gable did not practice after jamming his foot on Friday but should return Tuesday.
Cornerback-safety Mozique McCurtis also sat out with a sore knee. USC coach Pete Carroll singled out fullback Stanley Havili as someone who stood out in early practices. The kicking game, without snapper Will Collins, proved to be an adventure Sunday.

Just By Coincidence

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins is on campus today for a coaches clinic. Perhaps he can bump into Mark Sanchez to further fuel last week’s Internet rumors after Sanchez watched his friend practice at Colorado.

Another MRI

Wide receiver Damian Williams, the transfer from Arkansas, said he will undergo an MRI on Monday or Tuesday because of suspected cartilege damage in his shoulder. He stretched a ligament in his shoulder last season at Arkansas and may have aggravated the injury during Tuesday’s opening spring practice.