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Pac-12 Recruiting: USC Looks To Have A Top Five Class Despite NCAA Sanctions

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The USC Trojans are currently on probation from the NCAA due to the Reggie Bush years when he and his family received improper benefits. Those findings brought the hammer of the NCAA on USC, putting the Trojans on probation for three years and reduced scholarships. However, the Trojans decided to appeal the sanctions to the NCAA a few weeks back on Jan. 10 and this could have been a ploy to avoid having the reduced scholarship allotment be in place.

Since USC is appealing, their current probation penalties are tabled until a decision is made, and the NCAA is known to take their time in providing resolution. With their sanctions on hold, this allowed USC to sign a class as if they were not on probation. However, if the appeal is denied USC will still have to serve the penalty of reduced scholarships.

The class itself is currently fourth in the nation and tops in the Pac-12 and it seems that the incoming freshmen are not fazed about the current sanctions. In fact USC has 30 players listed as recruits, with eight of those still pondering their decision. Another legal loop hole that USC used is to have freshman enroll in January so that those numbers go against the 2010 class. The other part of the probation that USC is appealing is their post season ban. They already served year one of two this past season, and since not many of the freshmen will see significant playing time a postseason ban is not going to bother them all that much. This is another reason for the class being as strong as it is.

The Trojans class is not yet complete as they are in a battle over De'Anthony Thomas with Oregon. Thomas is rated as the nation's top cornerback and has been a solid verbal to USC for a while now, but this past week he took an under-the-radar visit to go check out Oregon. Apparently, Thomas liked what he saw at Oregon and is now split on where to go. He is expected to make his decision tonight at 8 p.m. MT.

Even if USC does not land Thomas they will have at worst a top-10 class, blow away Colorado and out distance themselves from the rest of the Pac-12 in the recruiting races.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream as we look at the stories revolving around the local FBS teams as well as stories about their conferences through signing day.