Football
    USC Football Announces 2016 Signing Class

    USC head coach Clay Helton
    
    Feb. 3, 2016
    

    LOS ANGELES--Twelve high school football players and a junior college player signed with USC today (Feb. 3) and will join the Trojan program in the fall, USC head coach Clay Helton announced.

    They are part of a 20-member signing class that includes 7 other high school players who already enrolled at USC in January and will participate in the upcoming spring practice.

    Several recruiting media outlets ranked USC's class in the national Top 10, including eighth by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com. Troy had the Pac-12's top class according to ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com. The average star rating of the Trojans' 20 signees was in most outlets' Top 5 nationally, including first by Scout.com.

    Thirteen prep players in USC's signing class are listed among the ESPN 300, including six in the Top 100. Fifteen were All-American first teamers and 12 were named All-State first team.

    This fall's incoming freshmen are, alphabetically: TE Cary Angeline of Dowington East HS in Exton (Penn.); DB Jamel Cook of Miami (Fla.) Central HS; LB Jordan Iosefa of St. Louis HS in Honolulu (Hi.); DB Jack Jones of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly HS; WR Velus Jones Jr. of Saraland (Ala.) HS; RB Vavae Malepeai of Mililani (Hi.) HS; OL Frank Martin II of Mater Dei HS in Santa Ana (Calif.); DL Connor Murphy of Brophy Prep in Phoenix (Ariz.); OL E.J. Price of Archer High in Lawrenceville (Ga.); WR Trevon Sidney of Bishop Amat HS in La Puente (Calif.); WR Tyler Vaughns of Bishop Amat HS in La Puente (Calif.); and ATH Keyshawn Young of Miami (Fla.) Senior High.

    The junior college transfer who will be joining USC this fall is DL Josh Fatu of Long Beach (Calif.) CC, who will be a junior.

    The 7 players who joined USC last month as freshmen after graduating a semester early from high school are DL Oluwole Betiku of Serra HS in Gardena (Calif.); QB Matt Fink of Glendora (Calif.) HS; WR Josh Imatorbhebhe of North Gwinnett HS in Sugar Hill (Ga.); DL Liam Jimmons of Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS; WR Michael Pittman Jr. of Oaks Christian HS in Westlake Village (Calif.); DB C.J. Pollard of Serra HS in Gardena (Calif.); and OL Nathan Smith of Mater Dei HS in Santa Ana (Calif.).

    "I am delighted to welcome this group of new Trojans to USC," said Helton. "This is a class of high-quality players, both on and off the field. They address some immediate needs we had to have filled for the upcoming year. I know that Trojans fans will enjoy watching them play.

    "I want to commend our staff for the hard work they put in. I was so impressed with how they competed down the stretch and won most of the battles for uncommitted players. That makes you proud as a head coach."

    USC announced only 20 signees today because 5 scholarship Trojans who were on the 2015 team--WR Deontay Burnett, TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe, OT Clayton Johnston, TE Taylor McNamara and P Chris Tilbey--count as part of this 2016 class. They enrolled at USC in the fall of 2015 and were awarded scholarships by virtue of an NCAA rule known as "blueshirting," which allows a non-recruited student-athlete to receive athletic financial aid after beginning practice and have that student-athlete count towards the next year's signing class if the school has reached its NCAA-maximum aid limit for the current year.

    USC football season tickets are on sale now and include home games against Notre Dame, Oregon, Arizona State and California. Season ticket holders receive such benefits as access to tickets to the 2016 opening game against Alabama in Arlington, Tex. Call 213-740-GOSC or visit www.usctrojans.com to get tickets. For priority seating, fans can join the Trojan Athletic Fund and be among a close network of alumni, former student-athletes, parents and friends who provide the funding necessary for Trojan student-athletes to succeed in the classroom and on the field. For more information on supporting the Trojan Athletic Fund and priority seating, call 213-740-4155 or visit www.trojanathleticfund.com.

    2016 USC FOOTBALL SIGNEES
     
    SPRING ENROLLMENT
    HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS
    NAME POS HGT WGT HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL)
    Oluwole Betiku DL 6-3 250 Lagos, Nigeria (Serra)
    Matt Fink QB 6-3 180 Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Glendora)
    Josh Imatorbhebhe WR 6-2 210 Suwanee, GA (North Gwinnett)
    Liam Jimmons DL 6-5 265 Huntington Beach, CA (Huntington Beach)
    Michael Pittman Jr. WR 6-4 210 Woodland Hills, CA (Oaks Christian)
    C.J. Pollard DB 6-1 185 Carson, CA (Serra)
    Nathan Smith OL 6-6 265 Murrieta, CA (Murrieta Mesa)
     
    FALL ENROLLMENT
    HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS
    NAME POS HGT WGT HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL)
    Cary Angeline TE 6-6 230 Chester Springs, PA (Dowington East)
    Jamel Cook DB 6-3 185 Miami, FL (Miami Central)
    Jordan Iosefa LB 6-2 215 Waipahu, HI (St. Louis)
    Jack Jones DB 5-11 170 Long Beach, CA (Long Beach Poly)
    Velus Jones Jr. WR 6-0 185 Saraland, AL (Saraland)
    Vavae Malepeai RB 6-0 190 Aiea, HI (Mililani)
    Frank Martin II OL 6-5 310 West Covina, CA (Mater Dei)
    Connor Murphy DL 6-7 255 Mesa, AZ (Brophy Prep)
    E.J. Price OL 6-6 325 Dacula, GA (Archer)
    Trevon Sidney WR 5-11 170 Covina, CA (Bishop Amat)
    Tyler Vaughns WR 6-2 180 Covina, CA (Bishop Amat)
    Keyshawn Young ATH 5-11 175 Miami, FL (Miami Senior)
     
    JUNIOR COLLEGE PLAYERS
    NAME POS HGT WGT HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL/JUNIOR COLLEGE)
    Josh Fatu DL 6-3 290 Long Beach, CA (Lakewood/Long Beach CC)

    BIOGRAPHIES ON USC FOOTBALL'S 2016 SPRING NEWCOMERS

    BETIKU--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Max Preps All-American first team, Maxwell Club National Player of the Year finalist, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-California Defensive Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports State Defensive Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division, Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket All-CIF Defensive Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-Area first team, South Bay Daily Breeze Defensive Player of the Year and All-Mission League Lineman of the Year as a senior defensive end at Serra High in Gardena (Calif.). He had 70 tackles, including 28 for losses (with 17 sacks), plus 2 forced fumbles in 2015. As a junior in 2014, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay first team and All-Mission League Co-Lineman of the Year as he had 59 tackles, including 24 for losses (with 11.5 sacks), 2 deflections and a forced fumble. Current Trojans Deontay Burnett, Rasheem Green, Jalen Green, John Houston, Adoree' Jackson, Jalen Jones, C.J. Pollard and Olajuwon Tucker also prepped at Serra. He attended Bishop McNamara High in Forestville (Md.) as a 2013 sophomore, but did not play football there. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria and participated in soccer and boxing. He moved to the United States when he was 13, which is when he first took up football.

    FINK--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Medium Schools first team, All-CIF Central Division, San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Area first team and All-Palomares League Player of the Year as a senior dual-threat quarterback at Glendora (Calif.) High. He completed 87-of-174 passes (50.0%) for 1,258 yards with 15 TDs and 5 interceptions in 2015, rushed for 1,106 yards on 180 carries (6.1 avg) with 17 TDs, had a 36-yard reception, made 6 tackles and 2 interceptions and averaged 36.8 yards on 37 punts (with 12 pinning opponents within the 20-yard line). As a junior in 2014, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior second team as he completed 96-of-165 passes (58.2%) for 1,386 yards with 10 TDs and 3 interceptions and he also ran for 725 yards on 75 carries (9.7 avg) with 10 TDs. As a 2013 sophomore, he completed 95-of-192 passes (49.5%) for 1,449 yards with 12 TDs and 6 interceptions and he ran for 182 yards on 47 carries (3.9 avg) with 3 TDs.

    IMATORBHEBHE--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team and Gwinnett Daily Post All-County third team as a senior wide receiver at North Gwinnett High in Sugar Hill (Ga.). He caught 31 passes for 452 yards (14.6 avg) with 3 TDs in 2015 and he also threw a TD, had a 66-yard rush and averaged 19.0 yards on 5 kickoff returns. As a junior in 2014, he made All-Region 7-AAAAAA first team while getting 59 receptions for 1,072 yards (18.2 avg) with 15 TDs. He caught 5 passes for 55 yards (11.0 avg) with a TD as a 2013 sophomore, helping North Gwinnett advance to the Class AAAAAA state championship game. He also played basketball at North Gwinnett. His brother, Daniel, is a redshirt freshman tight end at USC.

    JIMMONS--He made 2015 Prep Star All-West Region, USA Today All-California second team and All-Sunset League first team as a senior defensive end and tight end at Huntington Beach (Calif.) High. He had 32 tackles, including 7 for losses (with a sack), 2 deflections and a forced fumble in 2015, plus he caught 7 passes for 61 yards (8.7 avg). As a junior in 2014, he had 45 tackles, including 6.5 for losses and 9 sacks, plus 4 deflections and 2 forced fumbles, along with 2 catches for 8 yards (4.0 avg). He made 51 tackles, including 6 for losses (with 2 sacks), plus an interception, 2 deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles as a 2013 sophomore, and he also caught a TD.

    PITTMAN--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Max Preps All-American first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 second team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-California Offensive Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division, Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket All-CIF Offensive Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-Area first team, Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Year and Ventura County Star Player of the Year as a senior wide receiver and safety at Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village (Calif.). He had 81 receptions for 1,990 yards (24.6 avg) with 24 TDs in 2015 (he caught 16 passes for 354 yards and 5 TDs in his final game), as well as 31 tackles, an interception and a deflection, 17 kickoff returns for 477 yards (28.1 avg) with 1 TD and 14 punt returns for 148 yards (10.6 avg). As a junior in 2014, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior second team, Los Angeles Daily News All-Area first team and All-Marmonte League Co-Receiver of the Year. He had 47 catches for 914 yards (19.4 avg) with 12 TDs in 2014, plus 43 tackles (including 2 for losses) and 3 interceptions and 11 kickoff returns for 311 yards (28.3 avg). His father, Michael, was a running back at Fresno State (1993, 95-97) and then in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals (1998-2001), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-07), including on the Super Bowl XXXVII champion in the 2003 season, and Denver Broncos (2008)

    POLLARD--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-California second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division, South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay first team and All-Mission League first team as a senior defensive back and wide receiver at Serra High in Gardena (Calif.). He had 62 tackles, including 2 for losses, and 5 deflections in 2015. As a junior in 2014, he made 58 tackles (2 for losses) and 3 deflections. He had 20 tackles as a 2013 sophomore. Current Trojans Oluwole Betiku, Deontay Burnett, Rasheem Green, Jalen Green, John Houston, Adoree' Jackson, Jalen Jones and Olajuwon Tucker also prepped at Serra. His real first name is Chris. His father, Marvin, was a cornerback at USC (1988-91) and his mother, Pam, is a USC graduate.

    SMITH--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, USA Today All-California second team, Riverside Press Enterprise All-Inland first team and All-Southwestern League first team as a senior offensive and defensive tackle at Murrieta (Calif.) Mesa High. He also threw the discus and shot put on Murrieta Mesa's track team.

    BIOGRAPHIES ON USC FOOTBALL'S 2016 FALL NEWCOMERS

    ANGELINE--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American, USA Today All-Pennsylvania second team, AP All-State AAAA first team, Pennsylvania Football News All-State first team and Philadelphia Inquirer All-Southeastern Pennsylvania first team, Daily Local All-Area first team and All-Ches-Mont League Player of the Year as a senior tight end at Dowington East High in Exton (Penn). He had 47 receptions for 826 yards (17.6 avg) with 13 TDs in 2015 (he also had 6 sacks and 2 interceptions on defense). As a junior in 2014, he made AP All-State AAAA first team, Pennsylvania Football News All-State first team, Philadelphia Inquirer All-Southeastern Pennsylvania first team, Daily Local All-Area first team and All-Ches-Mont League first team as he had 67 catches for 1,051 yards (15.7 avg) with 10 TDs. He made Daily Local All-Area first team and All-Ches-Mont League as he had 33 catches for 456 yards (13.8 avg) with 6 TDs as a 2013 sophomore. He also was an All-League basketball player at Dowington East, averaging 22.4 points and 12.0 rebounds as a junior, 19.9 points as a sophomore and 15.0 points as a freshman. His grandfather, Fran, was a tight end and defensive end at Colgate (1955 captain), then was the 1979 National High School Coach of the Year while at Union-Endicott (N.Y.) High. His father, Chris, was a quarterback and tight end at Columbia. His brother, Ryley, is a sophomore tight end at Delaware. His uncle, Larry, played football at Mansfield and another uncle, Jerry, played football at Hobart.

    COOK--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, USA Today All-Florida second team and All-State Class 6A first team as a senior defensive back at Miami (Fla.) Central High while getting 6 interceptions. He was a member of Miami Central's state Class 6A championship teams in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He also played basketball at Miami Central. His cousin is Florida State junior running back Dalvin Cook.

    FATU--He made 2015 JC Athletic Bureau All-California Region III first team and All-Southern California Football Association National Division Central League first team (unanimous) as a sophomore defensive tackle at Long Beach (Calif.) City College. He had 52 tackles, including 14 for losses (with 9.5 sacks), 2 fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a deflection in 2015 as Long Beach CC went 10-2, won the Southern California Bowl and advanced to the SoCal Regional Championship. As a freshman in 2014, he had 37 tackles, including 10.5 for losses (with 8 sacks), an interception, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and a deflection as Long Beach CC went 9-2 and won the Beach Bowl. Current Trojan De'Quan Hampton also attended Long Beach CC. He made 2013 All-Moore League first team as a senior 2-way lineman at Lakewood (Calif.) High. As a junior in 2012, he averaged 3 tackles a game. Current Trojan Toa Lobendahn previously attended Lakewood.

    IOSEFA--He made 2015 Prep Star All-West Region and USA Today All-Hawaii second team as a senior linebacker at St. Louis High in Honolulu (Hi.). He had 34 tackles in 2015. He sat out the 2014 season after transferring from Waipahu (Hi.) High.

    J. JONES--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Scout.com All-American, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-California first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division (as a defensive back), Los Angeles Times All-Area first team and Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team Co-Offensive Player of the Year as a senior cornerback and wide receiver at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High. He had 23 tackles, an interception and 4 deflections in 2015, plus 42 receptions for 837 yards (19.9 avg) with 11 TDs, 79 yards on 9 carries (8.8 avg), 5 punt returns for 143 yards (20.6 ag) with a TD, 4 kickoff returns for 127 yards (31.8 avg) and a 37.0 average on 4 punts. As a junior in 2014, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division (as a wide receiver) and Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team. He had 40 tackles, an interception and a deflection in 2014, plus 64 receptions for 719 yards (11.2 avg) with 5 TDs, 6 punt returns for 136 yards (22.7 avg) with 1 TD and 2 kickoff returns for 21 yards (10.5 avg). Current Trojans Iman Marshall and JuJu Smith-Schuster also prepped at Long Beach Poly.

    V. JONES--He made 2015 Prep Star All-Southeast Region, USA Today All-Alabama first team, AL.com Super All-State first team, Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State Class 6A first team and All-Coastal Alabama first team as a senior wide receiver at Saraland (Ala.) High. He had 48 receptions for 945 yards (19.7 avg) with 10 TDs in 2015, plus 172 rushing yards with 2 TDs and 2 touchdowns on special teams. As a junior in 2014, he made All-State and All-Region while getting 51 receptions for 1,118 yards (21.9 avg) with 9 TDs. Saraland was the state Class 6A runnerup in 2014.

    MALEPEAI--He made 2015 Prep Star All-West Region, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Gatorade Hawaii Player of the Year, USA Today All-Hawaii Offensive Player of the Year and All-Oahu Interscholastic Association Blue Offensive Player of the Year as a senior running back at Mililani (Hi.) High. He ran for 1,952 yards on 234 carries (8.3 avg) with 29 TDs in 2015. As a junior in 2014, he made USA Today All-Hawaii first team as he ran for 1,337 yards on 227 carries (5.9 avg) with 24 TDs. Mililani won the state championship in 2014 after being the runnerup in 2013. He set state career records with his 4,556 rushing yards and 71 rushing TDs. His uncles Silila (1990-94), Pulou (1993-95) and Tasi (1994-96) played football at Oregon.

    MARTIN--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-California first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division, Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket All-CIF, Los Angeles Times All-Area first team, Orange County Register All-Orange County first team and All-Trinity League first team as a senior offensive lineman at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.). As a junior in 2014, he made USA Today All-State first team and Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team. As a 2013 sophomore, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team. Current Trojans Grant Moore and Jonathan Lockett also prepped at Mater Dei.

    MURPHY--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American as a senior defensive end at Brophy Prep in Phoenix (Ariz.). He had 30 tackles, including 5 for losses (with 2 sacks), and 2 deflections in 2015 despite being bothered all season with a groin injury that required surgery and limited him to playing in just 7 games. As a junior in 2014, he had 71 tackles, including 8.5 for losses (with 1.5 sacks), plus 4 deflections and 2 fumble recoveries. He had 10 tackles (1 for a loss) and a deflection as a sophomore in 2013. He also threw the shot put and discus on Brophy Prep's track team. His brother, Trent, was a consensus All-American outside linebacker at Stanford (2010-13) and now plays for the Washington Redskins. His sister, Kayli, played women's basketball at Arizona State (2007-10) and competed in the 2011 Miss Arizona USA pageant.

    PRICE--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team and USA Today All-Georgia first team as a senior offensive lineman at Archer High in Lawrenceville (Ga.). As a junior in 2014, he played at Central Gwinnett High in Lawrenceville (Ga.). His real first name is Edward.

    SIDNEY--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team and Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 as a senior wide receiver and cornerback at Bishop Amat High in La Puente (Calif.). He had 31 receptions for 400 yards (12.9 avg) with 6 TDs, 13 tackles, 13 kickoff returns for 246 yards (18.9 avg) and 4 punt returns for 43 yards (10.8 avg) in 2015. As a junior in 2014, he made USA Today All-State first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior second team and San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Area while getting 38 receptions for 540 yards (14.2 avg) with 3 TDs, 8 carries for 60 yards (7.5 avg), 47 tackles and 4 interceptions and 12 kickoff returns for 381 yards (31.8 avg). As a 2013 sophomore, he made Student Sports Sophomore All-American first team, Max Preps Sophomore All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore first team, San Gabriel Valley Tribune Newcomer of the Year and All-Area. He had 15 receptions for 225 yards (15.0 avg) with 4 TDs in 2013, plus 10 carries for 94 yards (9.4 avg) with a TD, 30 tackles, 8 interceptions, a deflection and a fumble recovery and 12 kickoff returns for 302 yards (25.2 avg). Incoming Trojan Tyler Vaughns also prepped at Bishop Amat. VAUGHNS--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American Dream Team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, USA Today All-California first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division, Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket All-CIF, Los Angeles Times All-Area first team, San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Area first team and All-Mission League Co-Player of the Year as a senior wide receiver and defensive back at Bishop Amat High in La Puente (Calif.). He had 84 receptions for 1,319 yards (15.7 avg) with 13 TDs in 2015, plus 10 carries for 70 yards (7.0 avg) with 2 TDs, 20 punt returns for 188 yards (9.4 avg), 8 kickoff returns for 289 yards (36.1 avg) and 2 interceptions. As a junior in 2014, he made Max Preps Junior All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, Max Preps All-State second team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team, All-CIF Pac 5 Division, Los Angeles Times All-Area first team, San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Area Player of the Year and All-Mission League Offensive Player of the Year. He had 83 receptions for 1,183 yards (14.3 avg) with 12 TDs in 2014, plus 9 carries for 41 yards (3.2 avg) with 1 TD, 5 kickoff returns for 86 yards (17.2 avg), 24 tackles and 4 interceptions and a 40.5-yard average on punts. As a 2013 sophomore, he had 27 receptions for 395 yards (14.6 avg) with 4 TDs, threw a touchdown pass and had 2 punt returns for 47 yards (23.5 avg). He also played basketball and baseball at Bishop Amat. Incoming Trojan Trevon Sidney also prepped at Bishop Amat.

    YOUNG--He made 2015 Prep Star All-American and All-State Class 8A honorable mention as a wide receiver and defensive back at Miami (Fla.) Senior High. He had 3 punt returns for touchdowns as a 2014 junior. He had 2,069 rushing and receiving yards with 30 TDs (16 rushing, 14 receiving) during his 2013 sophomore and 2014 junior seasons. He also was on Miami Senior's track team. His nickname is "Pie."