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    USC Football Announces 2014 Signing Class
    Steve Sarkisian

    Steve Sarkisian

    Feb. 5, 2014

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    Fourteen high school football players signed letters of intent with USC today (Feb. 5) and will join the Trojan program in the fall, new USC head coach Steve Sarkisian announced.

    They are part of a 19-member signing class that includes 5 other players who already enrolled at USC in January and will participate in the upcoming spring practice.

    This fall's incoming freshmen are: OL Chris Brown of Loyola High in Los Angeles (Calif.), TE Bryce Dixon of St. Bonaventure High in Ventura (Calif.), DE-OLB Malik Dorton of St. John Bosco High in Bellflower (Calif.), ATH Ajene Harris of Crenshaw High in Los Angeles (Calif.), DB-WR Adoree' Jackson of Serra High in Gardena (Calif.), WR-DB Rahshead Johnson of Cabrillo High in Long Beach (Calif.), DB Jonathan Lockett of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.), OL Damien Mama of St. John Bosco High in Bellflower (Calif.), LB Uchenna Nwosu of Narbonne High in Harbor City (Calif.), DB John Plattenburg of Lamar High in Houston (Tex.), DB Lamont Simmons of Raines Highin Jacksonville (Fla.), WR-DB JuJu Smith of Poly High in Long Beach (Calif.), OL Viane Talamaivao of Centennial High in Corona (Calif.) and LB Olajuwon Tucker of Serra High in Gardena (Calif.).

    The 5 players who joined USC last month are junior DL Claude Pelon of Mesa (Ariz.) Community College and a quartet of freshmen who graduated a semester early from high school: OL Jordan Austin of Claremont (Calif.) High, QB Jalen Greene of Serra High in Gardena (Calif.), DE-OLB Don Hill of Timberline High in Boise (Id.) and OL Toa Lobendahn of La Habra (Calif.) High.

    Nine players in USC's 2014 signing class are listed among the ESPN 300. Thirteen are All-American first teamers, including a pair of Parade and USA Today first team picks. Eight were named All-State first team, including Cal-Hi Sports' California Mr. Football (Jackson).

    USC's class was ranked ninth nationally by Prep Star, 10th by Scout.com and Rivals.com and 14th by ESPN. All those rankings had the Trojans tops in the Pac-12.

    "First of all, I am really proud of our coaches who handled the coaching transition so well during the recruiting process and were able to put together such an outstanding class," said Sarkisian. "To finish the way we did today was tremendous.

    "We welcome an outstanding group of young student-athletes to the Trojan Family. This class not only meets our specific needs from a depth and talent standpoint, but we were able to highlight the class with some real playmakers."

    BIOGRAPHIES ON USC FOOTBALL'S 2014 FALL NEWCOMERS

    BROWN--He made 2013 ESPN 300, Prep Star All-West, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, Max Preps All-State Division I first team, All-CIF Pac-5 Division, Los Angeles Times All-Area, Wave Newspapers All-West Region and All-Serra League Lineman of the Year as a senior offensive tackle at Loyola High in Los Angeles (Calif.). He was a 3-year starter at Loyola.

    DIXON--He made 2013 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Parade All-American second team, ESPN 300, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, Max Preps All-State Division I second team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, All-Ventura County Coaches Association first team, Ventura County Star All-Area and All-Marmonte League as a senior tight end at St. Bonaventure High in Ventura (Calif.). He had 64 receptions for 781 yards (12.2 avg) with 14 TDs in 2013. As a junior in 2012, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior second team as he had 23 catches for 349 yards (15.2 avg) with 5 TDs. He also played basketball at St. Bonaventure, averaging 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds during his 78-game career as a center. Current Trojan Giovanni Di Poalo also prepped at St. Bonaventure.

    DORTON--He made 2013 Prep Star All-American, ESPN 300, Cal-Hi Sports All-State third team and All-CIF Pac-5 Division as a senior defensive end at St. John Bosco High in Bellflower (Calif.). He had 66 tackles, with 5 sacks, in 2013. St. John Bosco won the 2013 CIF Pac-5 Division championship and CIF state championship Open Division bowl game. As a 2012 junior, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior third team and All-CIF Pac-5 Division while making 57 tackles, including 13 for a loss (with 6 sacks), plus an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. As a sophomore in 2011, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore second team and All-Trinity League as he had 40 tackles with a sack, as well as a fumble recovery. Current Trojan Nico Falah and incoming Trojan Damien Mama also prepped at St. John Bosco.

    HARRIS--He made 2013 Prep Star All-West, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team and All-L.A. City Division I Player of the Year as a senior quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back at Crenshaw High in Los Angeles (Calif.). Crenshaw won the 2013 L.A. City Division I championship. As a 2012 junior, he made All-L.A. City Division I first team. As a sophomore in 2011, he completed 42-of-121 passes (34.7%) for 874 yards and 6 TDs with 1 interception, plus he ran for 640 yards on 48 carries (13.3 avg) on offense and made 44 tackles, 4 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries on defense. He also played basketball at Crenshaw. Current Trojan Hayes Pullard also prepped at Crenshaw.

    JACKSON--He made 2013 USA Today All-USA first team, Parade All-American first team, Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Max Preps All-American first team, Student Sports All-American first team, ESPN 300, Max Preps All-American Medium Schools first team, Cal-Hi Sports California Mr. Football, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Max Preps All-State Division II first team, All-CIF Western Division Defensive Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-Area, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay Player of the Year, Wave Newspapers All-West Region Player of the Year and All-Mission League MVP as a senior wide receiver, running back, defensive back and return specialist at Serra High in Gardena (Calif.). He ran for 639 yards on 66 carries (9.7 avg) with 5 TDs and caught 38 passes for 812 yards (21.4 avg) with 7 TDs on offense in 2013, plus he had 36 tackles, 6 interceptions (3 for touchdowns), 8 deflections and a forced fumble on defense and he had 3 TDs on returns. Serra played in the 2013 CIF Western Division final (he had a 92-yard punt return and a 93-yard kickoff return in the game). As a 2012 junior, he made Max Preps All-American Medium Schools second team, Max Preps All-American Junior second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team, All-CIF Western Division Defensive Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-Area, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay Player of the Year, Los Angeles Wave Player of the Year and All-Mission League Defensive MVP. He had 33 receptions for 546 yards (16.6 avg) with 5 TDs and 175 yards on 7 carries (25.0 avg) with 5 TDs on offense, plus he had 56 tackles, 5 interceptions, 7 deflections, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on defense and averaged 37.8 yards on 12 punts. Serra won the 2012 CIF Western Division (he had a 78-yard TD run on a fake punt in the game) and CIF state championship Division II bowl game (he had a 95-yard run on a fake punt in the game). As a sophomore in 2011, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay first team and All-Mission League first team as he had 2 receptions for 39 yards (19.5 avg) and made 23 tackles, 6 interceptions and 10 deflections. He also was on a guard on Serra's basketball team and was on its track team, with career bests of 10.68 in the 100 meters, 21.59 in the 200 and 25-0.5 in the long jump. Serra won the 2013 CIF state championship while he placed second in the long jump at 24-7. He won the 2012 state long jump title at 20-0.5. He was named the 2012 Cal-Hi Sports California Sophomore Athlete of the Year and 2013 Cal-Hi Sports California Junior Athlete of the Year. Current Trojans George Farmer and Jalen Greene and incoming Trojan Olajuwon Tucker also prepped at Serra. He grew up in Illinois, then moved to California before his sophomore year at Serra.

    JOHNSON--He made 2013 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, ESPN 300 and Orange County Register Fab 15 second team as a senior wide receiver at Cabrillo High in Long Beach (Calif.). He played as a 2011 sophomore and 2012 junior at Jordan High in Long Beach. As a sophomore in 2011, he caught 10 passes for 167 yards (16.7 avg) with 1 TD and returned 4 kickoffs for 172 yards (43.0 avg) with a TD. He also played basketball at Jordan, averaging 9.8 points in his 55-game career.

    LOCKETT--He made 2013 Prep Star All-American, Student Sports All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Max Preps All-State Division I first team, All-CIF Pac-5 Division, Los Angeles Times All-Area, Orange County Register Fab 15 second team, Orange County Register All-Orange County Defensive Player of the Year and All-Trinity League Co-Player of the Year as a cornerback, wide receiver and returner at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.). He had 34 tackles, 4 interceptions and 9 deflections on defense in 2013, along with 1,135 all-purpose yards, including 31 receptions for 557 yards (18.0 avg) with 4 TDs, 13 punt returns for 240 yards (18.5 avg) and 7 kickoff returns for 167 yards (23.9 avg). As a 2012 junior, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team as he had 43 tackles, 7 interceptions, 6 deflections, 2 fumble recoveries on defense, along with 1,113 all-purpose yards, including 10 catches for 83 yards (8.3 avg) with 3 TDs, 22 kickoff returns for 632 yards (28.7 avg) and 23 punt returns for 295 yards (12.8 avg). As a sophomore in 2011, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team as he had 12 tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 deflections, plus 5 punt returns for 109 yards (21.8 avg) and 4 kickoff returns for 111 yards 27.8 avg). In his career, he had 2,598 all-purpose yards. Current Trojans Victor Blackwell also prepped at Mater Dei.

    MAMA--He made 2013 USA Today All-USA first team, Parade All-American first team, Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Max Preps All-American first team, Student Sports All-American first team, ESPN 300, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Max Preps All-State Division I first team, All-CIF Pac-5 Division, Los Angeles Times All-Area Lineman of the Year, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team and Wave Newspapers All-East Region as a senior offensive and defensive lineman at St. John Bosco High in Bellflower (Calif.). St. John Bosco won the 2013 CIF Pac-5 Division championship and CIF state championship Open Division bowl game. He made the 2012 Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team. Current Trojan Nico Falah and incoming Trojan Malik Dorton also prepped at St. John Bosco.

    NWOSU--He made 2013 Prep Star All-West, All-L.A. City Division I first team, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay first team and All-Marine League first team as a senior linebacker at Narbonne High in Harbor City (Calif.). He had 121 tackles, 3 interceptions, 9 deflections, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble in 2013. Narbonne played in 2013 L.A. City Division I final. He had 15 tackles as a 2012 junior. He also played basketball at Narbonne.

    PLATTENBURG--He made 2013 Prep Star All-Midland and All-District 20-5A second team as a senior defensive back and returner at Lamar High in Houston (Tex.). He played as a 2011 sophomore and 2012 junior at Centennial High in Corona (Calif.). He had 75 tackles, 5 interceptions, 9 deflections and 2 fumble recoveries on defense in 2012, plus 6 kickoff returns for 234 yards (39.0 avg). He had 18 tackles in 2011, but primarily was a running back. Centennial won the 2012 CIF Inland Division championship and the CIF state Open Division Regional Bowl (it also played in the 2011 CIF Inland Division final). He also ran track at Centennial, with bests of 10.74 in the 100 meters and 22.86 in the 200. Incoming Trojan Viane Talamaivao also prepped at Centennial. He spent his 2010 freshman season at Lamar.

    SIMMONS--He made 2013 Jacksonsville Times-Union Super 24 as a senior cornerback, running back and wide receiver at Raines High in Jacksonville (Fla.). He had 30 tackles, an interception and 4 deflections in 2013. He played at Lee High in Jacksonville as a 2012 junior.

    SMITH--He made 2013 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, ESPN 300, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Pac-5 Division, Los Angeles Times All-Area, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team and All-Moore League Player of the Year as a senior wide receiver and safety at Poly High in Long Beach (Calif.). He had 71 tackles in 2013 despite being sidelined part of the year with injuries. As a 2012 junior, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Cal-Hi Sports California Junior of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team, Max Preps All-State Division I first team, All-CIF Pac-5 Division Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-Area and Long Beach Press Telegram All-Area Player of the Year. He had 49 receptions for 752 yards (15.3 avg) with 9 TDs on offense in 2012, plus 51 tackles and 6 interceptions on defense and 12 punt returns for 190 yards (15.8 avg) with a TD and 9 kickoff returns for 131 yards (14.6 avg). Poly won the 2012 CIF Pac-5 Division championship. As a sophomore in 2011, he had 11 receptions for 241 yards (21.9 avg) and 3 kickoff returns for 96 yards (32.0 avg). His real first name is John. His cousin is current USC assistant coach Johnny Nansen.

    TALAMAIVAO--He made 2013 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Student Sports All-American first team, Parade All-American second team, ESPN 300, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Max Preps All-State Division I first team, All-CIF Inland Division, Los Angeles Times All-Area, Orange County Register Fab 15 and Riverside Press Enterprise All-County as a senior offensive lineman at Centennial High in Corona (Calif.). Centennial won the 2013 CIF Inland Division title and played in the CIF Southern California Regional Championship bowl game. He was a 3-year starter at Centennial. Incoming Trojan John Plattenburg also previously attended Centennial. His uncle is current USC assistant coach Johnny Nansen.

    TUCKER--He made 2013 Prep Star All-American, Max Preps All-American Medium Schools second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Max Preps All-State Division II first team, All-CIF Western Division, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay Defensive Player of the Year, Wave Newspapers All-West Region and All-Mission League Defensive Player of the Year as a senior linebacker at Serra High in Gardena (Calif.). He had 117 tackles, including 25 for losses (with 12 sacks), plus 7 interceptions, 7 deflections, 4 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles in 2013. As a 2012 junior, he made All-Mission League second team while getting 68 tackles, including 10 for losses (with 5 sacks), 7 deflections and 2 forced fumbles. As a sophomore in 2011, he had 30 tackles, including 5 for losses (with 4 sacks), plus 2 interceptions. He also played basketball at Serra. Current Trojans George Farmer and Jalen Greene and incoming Trojan Adoree' Jackson also prepped at Serra. His nickname is Buddha. His brother, Tim, played fullback and linebacker at Washington in 2010 and 2011.

    BIOGRAPHIES ON USC FOOTBALL'S 2014 SPRING ENROLLEES

    AUSTIN--He made 2013 Prep Star All-West, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin All-Inland Valley first team and All-Sierra League first team as a senior offensive lineman at Claremont (Calif.) High. He was a 3-year starter. His father, Ray, played football at UNLV and Southern Utah.

    GREENE--He made 2013 Prep Star All-West, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, Max Preps All-State Division II first team, All-CIF Western Division, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay Offensive Player of the Year, Wave Newspapers All-West Region and All-Mission League Offensive Player of the Year as a senior quarterback at Serra High in Gardena (Calif.). He completed 134-of-229 passes (58.5%) for 1,544 yards with 33 TDs and 6 interceptions in 2013, plus ran for 1,209 yards on 155 carries (7.8 avg) with 14 TDs. Serra was 13-1 in 2013 and advanced to the CIF Western Division title game. As a 2012 junior, he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team, All-CIF Western Division, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay first team and All-Mission League first team as he completed 167-of-266 passes (62.8%) for 2,443 yards with 25 TDs and 13 interceptions, plus ran for 1,137 yards on 151 carries (7.5 avg) with 9 TDs. Serra won the 2012 CIF Western Division championship and the CIF State Division II Bowl. He made the 2011 Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay second team and All-Mission League MVP as a sophomore, completing 88-of-168 passes for 1,368 yards (52.4%) with 10 TDs and 4 interceptions and running for 694 yards on 86 carries (8.1 avg) with 7 TDs. As a 3-year starter, he went 35-6 while throwing for 6,355 yards with 68 TDs and running for 3,040 yards with 30 TDs. Current Trojan George Farmer and incoming Trojans Adoree' Jackson and Olajuwon Tucker also prepped at Serra.

    HILL--He made 2013 Prep Star All-Midwest and Tacoma News Tribune Northwest Nugget Best of the Rest despite missing most of his 2013 senior season as a defensive end at Timberline High in Boise (Id.) with an Achilles injury. As a 2012 junior, he made All-Southern Idaho League second team while getting 70 tackles, including 17 for loss (with 7 sacks). He also played basketball at Timberline.

    LOBENDAHN--He made the 2013 Prep Star All-American, ESPN 300, Max Preps All-American Medium Schools second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Max Preps All-State Division II first team, All-CIF Southwest Division, Orange County Register Fab 15 second team, Orange County Register All-Orange County first team, Whittier News All-Area and All-Freeway League Lineman of the Year as a senior offensive and defensive lineman at La Habra (Calif.) High. As a 2012 junior at Lakewood (Calif.) High, he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team.

    PELON--He made 2013 Prep Star JUCO All-American and All-Western States Football League second team as a 2013 sophomore defensive lineman at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College. He had 52 tackles, including 9.5 for losses, plus 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 2013. He spent his 2012 freshman season at Eastern Arizona Junior College in Thatcher (Ariz.), where he had 17 tackles with 2 sacks. He redshirted in 2011 while at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. He prepped at Agape Christian Academy in Orlando (Fla.), where he earned All-Conference honors as a 2010 senior while posting 68 tackles with 9 sacks. He also had 3 receptions on offense. He also was on the basketball and track teams at Agape Christian. His full first name is Claudeson.


    NAME POS HGT WGT HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL)
    Jordan Austin OL 6-5 275 Claremont, CA (Claremont HS)
    Chris Brown OL 6-5 295 Los Angeles, CA (Loyola HS)
    Bryce Dixon TE 6-4 240 Oxnard, CA (St. Bonaventure HS)
    Malik Dorton DE-OLB 6-2 250 Los Angeles, CA (St. John Bosco HS)
    Jalen Greene QB 6-3 195 Gardena, CA (Serra HS)
    Ajene Harris ATH 5-11 180 Los Angeles, CA (Crenshaw HS)
    Don Hill DE-OLB 6-3 235 Boise, ID (Timberline HS)
    Adoree' Jackson DB/WR 5-11 185 Lawndale, CA (Serra HS)
    Rahshead Johnson WR/DB 5-11 175 Compton, CA (Cabrillo HS)
    Toa Lobendahn OL 6-3 290 La Habra, CA (La Habra HS)
    Jonathan Lockett DB 5-11 175 Bellflower, CA (Mater Dei HS)
    Damien Mama OL 6-5 370 Bellflower, CA (St. John Bosco HS)
    Uchenna Nwosu LB 6-3 210 Carson, CA (Narbonne HS)
    Claude Pelon DL 6-5 295 Orlando, FL (Agape Christian Academy/Mesa (Ariz.) CC)
    John Plattenburg DB 5-11 180 Houston, TX (Lamar HS)
    Lamont Simmons DB 6-2 185 Jacksonville, FL (Raines HS)
    JuJu Smith WR/DB 6-2 210 Signal Hill, CA (Poly HS)
    Viane Talamaivao OL 6-3 330 Moreno Valley, CA (Centennial HS)
    Olajuwon Tucker LB 6-3 220 Harbor City, CA (Serra HS)