Unless you’re a college football junkie, a high school football coach in Southern California, or one of those weirdos who spends entirely too much on Rivals.com’s message boards, chances are pretty good you’ve probably never heard of S’ua Cravens. It’s ok, you’re hardly alone; only the junkiest of all college football junkies knows of Cravens, the top high school safety recruit in the class of 2013, who committed to play at USC this week.
Given Cravens’ stature as an elite prospect, his commitment is plenty newsworthy in its own right, but the real story is what his verbal means to USC “big picture,” where Lane Kiffin is in the process of putting together a class for the ages. Limited to just 15 scholarships because of NCAA sanctions (although you figure Lane Kiffin and Co. will figure out a way to finagle a few more by Signing Day), USC has accumulated so much talent so quickly, that by the time they all sign on the dotted line in February it could down as one of the best classes, player-for-player in the history of recruiting.
As things stand the Trojans have eight total commitments, all of them four-star or above, six who are in ESPNU’s top 80 players, and three of which are ranked as Rivals.com’s Top 10 players in the country nationally. Those three are Cravens, Washington quarterback Max Browne (generally regarded as the best quarterback in the country), and Maryland’s Kenny Bigelow (the best defensive end in the country), and when you factor in two of the top running backs in high school football in Ty Isaac of Illinois and Justin Davis, from Stockton, CA, and elite cornerback Chris Hawkins, it’s easy to see why everyone around the program is excited for the future. And the scary thing is the Trojans are hardly done, and are still involved with a handful of other elite recruits.
Safe to say, it’s a good to Lane Kiffin. And he’s hardly the only one cleaning up early.