USC football makes a splash on National Signing Day

first_imgClay Helton and Co. will welcome 19 players, chock-full of talent to their 2018 recruiting class. Katie Chin | Daily TrojanWednesday’s National Signing Day marked the end of the college football recruiting period, and USC went big. The Trojans started the day outside of the top 10 in overall recruiting rankings, but that would change in a matter of hours.The first decision of the day came from linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu at around 9:40 a.m. Tuliaupupu chose the Trojans over rivals UCLA and Notre Dame. The four-star product of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. is the fourth-ranked inside linebacker and 86th-ranked overall prospect in the nation according to 247sports.com. At 6 feet, 2 inches and 220 pounds, Tuliaupupu won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker for his senior season. He will join five-star high school teammates wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and quarterback JT Daniels as Trojans next season.The second and possibly most important commitment came from five-star cornerback Olaijah Griffin at around 10:30 a.m. The 6-foot, 170-pound prospect out of Mission Viejo High School established himself as one of the premier defensive backs in the class of 2018, earning his spot as 247Sports’ third-ranked corner and 28th-ranked player at any position. Griffin was picking between USC, Tennessee, Alabama and Oregon. Griffin, the son of rapper Warren G, announced his decision on ESPN and celebrated with legendary USC linebacker Willie McGinest, his famous father and Snoop Dogg. As an instinctive and physical player, any production he gives as a freshman will be a massive gain for a Trojan defensive backfield that struggled mightily at times in 2017.The Trojans continued their hot streak when four-star wide receiver Devon Williams picked USC over Oregon on ESPN. At 6 feet, 4 inches and 200 pounds, Williams is highly gifted, listed by ESPN as the number one athlete in his class. The product of Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, Calif. Williams is the sixth-ranked wide receiver and 40th-ranked player in 2018.USC’s luck ended when four-star receiver/tight end Michael Ezeike chose UCLA around 1:30 p.m., and this continued when four-star offensive lineman Penei Sewell committed to Oregon 30 minutes later. Sewell’s decision was a particularly tough pill to swallow, as USC’s 24-7 Cotton Bowl loss to Ohio State proved the team needs to improve in the trenches.However, the Trojans finished the day strong when four-star cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart committed to USC over Tennessee, Alabama and Texas A&M. The 6-foot-2-inch, 187-pound defensive back out of Helix Charter High School in San Diego made the announcement that he would be staying in Southern California via a livestream on his Instagram account. The additions of Taylor-Stuart and Griffin, both top-five cornerbacks according to 247Sports, set the Trojans up for a future of lockdown production on the outside.The Trojans also added a few preferred walk-ons. Two-star receiver Zach Wilson of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, AZ, tweeted his commitment around 9:10 a.m. Twenty-five minutes later, safety Jordan McMillan of Loyola High School tweeted he would be living out his dream and joining USC.Four players who had previously committed to USC signed their letters of intent on Wednesday. Along with St. Brown and Daniels, four-star linebacker Eli’jah Winston and four-star defensive lineman Trevor Trout confirmed that they will be Trojans next season. Winston tweeted his decision to flip from Oregon to USC on Tuesday, while Trout announced his commitment back in November.Including early signees from December, the Trojans’ current 2018 recruiting class includes 18 players, two of whom are preferred walk-ons. Head coach Clay Helton will have a lot of talent to work with from this group, especially with multiple big names at linebacker, receiver and cornerback. USC finishes with six recruits ranked in the top 40 of the 247Sports composite. In addition, the Trojans earned the commitments of 247Sports’ top four California prospects, five of the top six and seven of the top 11. USC jumped to fourth in 247Sports’ team recruiting rankings, finishing with four five-stars players, 13 four-stars and one three-star. Tied with Georgia for the second-best average rating per recruit, USC can expect great things from a stacked class in the future.last_img read more

Kawhi Leonard free agency rumors: ‘No way’ star was signing with Lakers

first_imgLeonard spent 2018-19 with the Raptors, where he almost single-handedly led the team to the first title in franchise history.”I think you can’t blame a guy for wanting to go home,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said last weekend, via ESPN. “That’s what he texted me. … ‘I’m going home.’ And I just said, ‘You’ve changed a lot of lives, man, by what you’ve accomplished in Toronto. Mine especially.’ And thanked him for what he did, and we’ll look to the future, and we’ll look to (win a title) again.”Leonard averaged 30.5 points in the playoffs, was named the Finals MVP and helped the Raptors avoid elimination by knocking down a crazy bouncing buzzer beater in the fourth quarter of Game 7 against the 76ers in the second round. Kawhi Leonard to Clippers: LeBron James and Lakers waiting in huge cross-city rivalry Kawhi Leonard may never have seriously considered joining the Lakers.There was “no way” the 28-year-old star was signing with the Lakers “despite speculation they were the front-runners,” according to a report from ESPN’s The Undefeated, which cites an unidentified league source. Leonard ended up inking a max deal with the Clippers after they acquired Paul George from the Thunder in exchange for five first-round selections, two pick swaps, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari.The Lakers were pursuing Leonard to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who they added in a blockbuster trade with the Pelicans last month. They went on to sign Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and Avery Bradley after missing out on Leonard. Related News Lakers free agency rumors: L.A. fills out roster with DeMarcus Cousins, 6 others after missing out on Kawhi Leonard Raptors thank Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, send ‘nothing but good wishes’ KAWHI CALLED SERIES! pic.twitter.com/V4AIuMULNO— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 13, 2019″It’s certainly disappointing,” Nurse said. “I think, first of all, he’s a great person. He was unbelievably fun to coach, just locked in and loaded and ready to go. People would ask me, ‘What was it like coaching him?’ And I always said the best thing was I got to stand there on the courtside and watch this guy go to work. That was something that I’ll never forget.”The Clippers became the betting favorites to win the 2019-20 championship after landing Leonard.last_img read more

PV Sindhu advances at Hong Kong Open while Saina Nehwal’s slump continues

first_imgAdvertisement sj7bNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs2mwhncWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E7b3md( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) l8Would you ever consider trying this?😱cmzgCan your students do this? 🌚88bdRoller skating! Powered by Firework It seems that Saina Nehwal will continue her losing streak in the Hong Kong Open Super 500. She was defeated by Cai Yan Yan of China 13-21, 20-22, within just 30 minutes of the opening round, whereas PV Sindhu made it to the second round after going against Korea’s Kim Ga Run 21-15, 21-16.Advertisement Saina’s performance was disappointing in the first round, but she did put up a fight against the Chinese in the second round scoring 3-0 at the start of the game. But Cai turned the tables on her when she went onto score 7 points consecutively, and it made it hard for Saina to bridge the gap in the scores. In the end, the scoreboard displayed 20-19, and Cai won the game. Saina has lost to Cai even before this at the China Open held last week, and this is the fifth time that she has got disqualified in the first round. After her exit from the Hong Kong open tournament, she is to participate in Gwangju Korea Masters Super 300 Tournament next.Advertisement While it took Saina 30 minutes to get disqualified, it took Sindhu 36 minutes to ensure Kim’s exit from the game. She closed the opening round at 13-13, and in the second round, she broke off the tie at 5-5 and matched ahead with 7 points in the lead. Sindhu is to face Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the quarter-finals.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more