USC finished with the 54th-ranked college football recruiting class in the country in 2020, the lowest it has finished since ESPN started its class rankings in 2009. In fact, 2020 marked the first time the Trojans had finished outside the top 20, a far fall from when they finished with the No. 5 class in 2017 and the No. 7 class in 2018.
Bryce Young, the No. 1-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2020, flipped from USC to Alabama. Clemson came into the state of California and landed No. 1-ranked pocket-passing quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. The Trojans landed only one ESPN 300 commitment from the state, and though the class as a whole had just 13 total commitments, 2020 saw the fewest in-state ESPN 300 commits USC has ever had in one class.
USC can’t land every top prospect in the state. But there can be a concerted effort to try to keep the best ones home. So far this year, the Trojans have stuck to a theme: Take back the West.