February 16, 2011
How many players with the Trojans sign on LOI Day? That is the most popular question surrounding the Trojan football program right now.
A number of national college football writers, who normally don't worry about recruiting until late January, called me this week asking that very question.
USC hasn't come out and said anything and either has the NCAA. From what we gather, Lane Kiffin is looking to sign a full class. Here is how it all breaks down:
USC had 51 returning players on scholarship and signed 9 early enrollees, making a total of 60 players on scholarship.
As of right now, the Trojans have 17 verbal commitments with many more offers out there. If they just sign 17, that makes the total 77. If they sign, say 22, that gives USC 82 scholarships. If they sign a full class of 25, that puts USC at the limit of 85.
But what about the sanctions? All sanctions are stayed during the appeals process. With no decision coming from the NCAA until well after signing day, Kiffin can put off the sanctions until the class of 2012.
It essentially gives the Trojans a chance to bolster the roster in anticipation of future scholarship reductions. Will the strategy work? Only time will tell.