It was speculated last week that once USC missed out on the Jimmy Clausen sweepstakes that it would then target San Diego St. Augustine quarterback and UCLA pledge Chris Forcier. However, the Trojans didn't venture that far south to get their guy.
USC landed a commitment Tuesday evening from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran dual-threat quarterback Aaron Corp. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder was hardly a consolation prize for the Trojans as he's widely considered the No. 2 quarterback in the West and had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and many others.
"He's built like a classic drop-back quarterback," Orange Lutheran coach Jim Kunau said. "He can throw the ball more than 65 yards in the air, but he's got 4.6 speed. He's a special, special kid and one heck of a quarterback."
Corp, who many thought might be a UCLA lean before Forcier picked the Bruins, said the decision was a tough one to make but when he looked at all of the options on the table, it was easy for him to see why the Trojans were the right fit.
"I actually knew I wanted to go there this past Sunday," Corp said. "I waited a couple of days to let it sink in and then called up Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian to let them know.
"(The Bruins) were my top choice until Chris Forcier committed there. I'm really happy about how things played out though. USC is a great school and you really can't do better than them. They weren't recruiting me that hard until a few weeks ago."
That was when USC saw him throw at spring workouts and the Trojans quickly asked him to come to campus and heck things out. The Trojan coaches talked to him about their quarterback situation and things moved forward from there.
"They laid out everything and explained why they were waiting to offer another quarterback," Corp said. "I knew all along that Jimmy was their top guy, and that was fine. Once I talked to them, I got a real good feeling about the place, and I felt a connection with the coaches. I know they have some good young quarterbacks there but I'm not worried about any depth charts or anything. I just felt USC was the best place for me so that's why I decided to commit there."
Corp is the second monster Trojan commitment from Orange County early in the process. Back on February 1, USC landed Anaheim (Calif.) Servite linebacker Chris Galippo. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker is considered a potential top 10 player nationally.
At this point, USC has landed three of what might likely end up top 10 players in Los Angeles as the Trojans also landed offensive lineman Martin Coleman of Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison a few weeks back.
PALO ALTO PRIMED Each year there is debate as to which NIKE Training Camp will be stockpiled with the most talent. And this year that honor might go to the Palo Alto NIKE Training Camp that's scheduled for next Saturday.
Virtually every one of the top players in the Golden State are on the docket to come, including players that showed their stuff at the Los Angeles NIKE Camp in early April.
"The NIKE Camp at Stanford is the place to be," Compton Dominguez cornerback David Ross said. "You know there are about 200, 300 coaches there. Plus all the other top kids in California are going to be there. So even if you went to the camp at USC, you have to go to the one at Stanford. That's where you show you're a real man and prove to everybody - and all the coaches - that you're for real."
San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty linebacker Steve Sloan agrees.
"I've been training for weeks for this camp," Sloan said. "I'm really excited about it. It's going to be a chance to prove to everybody where I stand in the state and in the nation."
SAD NEWS Torrance (Calif.) El Camino Junior College tight end Devin Adair died last Friday at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla. Adair, a three-star prospect that was widely considered one of the nation's top junior college tight ends in the class of 2006 was hospitalized a week ago with an illness, which he succumbed to last Friday.
Adair, 21, from Manhattan Beach, California, was a mid-term transfer from the junior college and picked Tulsa over California and Nevada. He was expected to come in and be the replacement for Garrett Mills, who was just recently selected in the NFL Draft by the New England Patriots with the No. 106 pick.
"Words cannot describe the grief and sadness the entire football program is feeling at this time," coach Steve Kragthorpe said. "Even though Devin was at Tulsa for just a short time, he made a lasting impression upon all of us that had an opportunity to know him. He was an energetic and bright young man who will be greatly missed."
A funeral was held Wednesday night in Tulsa and another one will be held on Monday, May 8 in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Early reports from doctors say Adair died from a staph infection.
PASSING THE TEST If you're looking for a player that definitely passes the eyeball test then head over to Oxnard (Calif.) Rio Mesa to check out athlete Malachi Lewis. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder could project at a number of different positions and his stock is starting to move up the charts quite a bit as schools make their way to school to see him work out in person.
"Utah came by the school, looked at Malachi, his tape and their offensive line coach Charlie Dickey said offering Malachi is a no brainer," Rio Mesa coach Bob Gregorchuk said.
Nebraska already agreed with Utah as the Cornhuskers extended an offer two weeks ago to Lewis. USC also might not be too far off as Pete Carroll came out last week and watched Lewis run in a track meet.
"Carroll said he likes him as a running back," Gregorchuk said. "He said he likes big running backs, and that's a good role for Malachi to fit into."
Other schools that have found their way to the Rio Mesa campus are Georgia Tech and Boise State. Washington, Washington State and Notre Dame have also shown an interest in Lewis.
Lewis earned first-team all-CIF, all-county, all-league and was League Player of the Year after rushing for 2,187 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was second-team all-state underclassman and second-team super-CIF as a junior. He also played some defense racking up 15 tackles and one pick.
ETC. Westlake (Calif.) Oaks Christian safety Marshall Jones is making a strong case to be named one of the nation's top five players at his position. He's already racked up more than 20 offers and just last week USC entered the fray UCLA has moved up the charts in the battle to land two-way standout Shane Vereen of Valencia, Calif. UCLA entered the fray with a recent offer and he's also got offers from Arizona State, Oregon, Washington, Nebraska and Colorado. UCLA likes Vereen as an athlete/defensive back first, but running back is not out of the question San Diego State coach Chuck Long is making a good impression on his first full season on the recruiting front. Word is that he recently had a great conversation with the father of San Jacinto, Calif., quarterback Chasen Stangel and the Aztecs could be close to offering.