As the players and coaching staff walked off the field in Arlington, Tex., after a disappointing loss to Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl, their focus was already beginning to shift to next season. Head coach Clay Helton and his coaching staff signed 10 recruits on Dec. 20 with more top-recruits to come in February. Photo by Tucker Judkins | Daily Trojan“Now, it’s trying to make it to the playoff and win a national championship,” head coach Clay Helton said after the game. “We won’t be satisfied until that happens.” Though the season has ended, the next two months present an incredibly important challenge for USC football, as they must fight to bring in recruits who will shape the foundation of the team for years to come. This year, the college football recruiting process looks different from previous years, as there are now two signing periods, as opposed to just one. The first chance players have to sign with a school, dubbed the “early signing period,” took place from Dec. 20-22. USC’s class ranked 13th in the nation coming out of this early signing period, according to Rivals. They signed 10 players, but have several more hard commitments from players expected to sign on National Signing Day in February.Headlining USC’s signed commits in the 2018 class are inside linebacker Palaie Gaoteote, the highest-ranked linebacker in ESPN’s ratings, and athlete Talanoa Hufanga, the top-rated prospect from the state of Oregon. Gaoteote, who played in high school at national powerhouse, Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, chose USC though many experts believed he would sign with Ohio State. Hufanga is listed as an athlete, though he will likely play as a safety at USC due to his range and ball skills. Though they have not signed yet, two of USC’s top recruits have made hard commitments to play for the Trojans in 2018. Quarterback JT Daniels, the reigning Gatorade and Maxpreps National Football Player of the Year, and his high school teammate Amon-Ra St. Brown, the consensus top receiver from California, both intend to sign with USC in February. Daniels, who just finished his junior year of high school, is reclassifying to enroll early, and is expected to compete for the starting job next year with Sam Darnold declaring for the NFL Draft. Daniels comes from Mater Dei High School, where former USC greats Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley also played, but there is speculation from some scouts that Daniels could be the best of the group. In 2017, he accounted for more than 4,500 yards and 61 touchdowns, while only throwing four interceptions and leading his team to a perfect 15-0 season, all while holding the No. 1 ranking nationally. St. Brown, the 10th-ranked player and second-rated receiver in the nation, according to ESPN, committed to USC on Jan. 6 during the Army All-American Football game. St. Brown has one brother, Orisis, who plays for Stanford, and another, Equanimeous, who just completed his career at Notre Dame. Both schools heavily recruited the five-star talent, but ultimately, he chose to carve his own path and announce his intent to sign with the Trojans. He was named offensive MVP of the Army All-American game for his four catch, 93-yard performance. Other notable signings for USC include Markese Stepp from Indianapolis, the 13th-rated running back in the nation, Chase Williams, an athlete from Corona, Calif., Justin Dedich, the second highest-rated center in the country and Raymond Scott, a top-5 outside linebacker.
Asante Kotoko rose from their slumber to wallop their boggy side Heart of Lions by 4 goals to nil in the First Capital Plus Premier League on Wednesday at the Baba Yara Sports StadiumGoals from Ahmed Toure, Prince Baffoe, Latif Amadu and Emmanuel Asante helped Kotoko to dump the Kpando lads to close the first half of the Ghana Premier League.Kotoko started the game on a very bright note when Ahmed Toure broke the deadlock in the 17 minute to register his 6 league goal of the season, before Prince Baffoe doubled their lead in the 19 minute. The rest of the first half failed to produce any more goals.Back from recess, the league leaders who were determined to get back to winning ways in the league after two consecutive matches without a victory continued to dictate the pace of the game and scored their third goal through Latif Amadu.Emmanuel Asante sealed the doom of Heart of Lions with the fourth goal to put the icing on the cake.The Kpando lads were the only side that had a double victory over Asante Kotoko last season, but the fire opened by the home team this time around consumed the tactical formation deployed by Coach Yusif Abubakar. This is the biggest win for the Porcupine Warriors this season.FCPPL WEEK 15 FULL TIME SCORES ”ªFt: KOTOKO 4-0 LIONSAhmed TourePrince BaffoeLatif AmaduEmmanuel AsanteFt: ASHGOLD 1-1 HEARTSDidier Kore (AshGold)Sabahn Laryea (Hearts)Ft: MEDEAMA 3-1 BA UNITEDNathaniel Asamoah 2 (Med)Kwe Boahene (Med)Moses Owusu (BA) Ft: LIBERTY 1-0 ADUANA STARSCharles Dwamena (Lib)Ft: BECHEM UNITED 2-0 HASAACASYaw Andoh x2 (B. Utd)Ft: CHELSEA 2-1 INTER ALLIESKofi Owusu (Che)Richard Adjei (Che)Naire Benogo (Inter Allies)Ft: OLYMPICS 2-2 NEW EDUBIASEBernard Ofori (N. Edu)Al hassan Nuhu (N. Edu)Emmanuel Amartey (Oly)Kwame Boateng (Oly)Ft: WAFA 0-0 WA ALL STARS – read more