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February 2, 2009
Music to keep you in the recruiting mood
We're inside of 48 hours of the most exciting day of the year for recruiting guys.
With National Signing Day - or Wednesday, as it's more commonly referred to roughly 51 other times a year - creeping closer, speculation about who is going where is running wilder than usual.
One thing is certain, though. For fans and prognosticators, after Wednesday we'll get our first glimpse as to what the future holds for teams around the country.
Trojan fans have suffered an unfamiliar fate this recruiting season, filled with indecision, decommitments and recommitments.
Whether at work or at a LOI party, here are some tunes to keep you in the mood throughout the day.
Track One: "The Letter" by Joe Cocker
Sample lyric: I'm a going home. My baby just wrote me a letter.
If Joe Cocker's good enough to open up an episode of "The Wonder Years," he's good enough to kick off National Signing Day.
For an uncommitted player, the days haven't been exactly lonely. Coaches have been in and out of the home, the phone's ringing off the hook and everywhere he turns, someone else asks where's he's going. All there's left to do is to write a letter, in fact, sign a letter. Then the process ends. The visits are done. The calls should stop.
As an added bonus, Joe Cocker has the face of a beat-up lineman, but at 5-foot-8, the frame of a kicker.
Track Two: "Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho
Sample lyric: Make me happy. Make me feel fine.
Nothing like a simple Hawaiian song, a salute to sparkling wine, to pay tribute to two of the most important targets of the class.
Linebacker Manti Te'o (who's potential signing could be celebrated with "Te'o. Me say Te'o") is a priority for this class with a slew of linebackers graduating.
Then there's Simione Vehikite, a two-star fullback. Despite the low ranking, Vehikite fills a specialty position and isn't afraid to lower his helmet and block.
Track Three: "Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
Sample lyric: Hey, hey, hey, hey
No matter what happens on Wednesday, the Trojans already landed the country's best quarterback Matt Barkley.
Barkley's already on campus and should be added to the list of USC recruiting successes.
Logically, Emilio Estevez would've played Barkley in "The Breakfast Club." The only problem is there's no way the alpha-male quarterback would've ever messed with the bull, thus, he'd not be given the horns.
Track Four: "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by the Clash
Sample lyric: Always tease tease tease
This is the anthem for the 2009 recruiting class, which has seen more Trojans commit and jump ship than in recent history.
Randall Carroll and Vontaze Burfict are the softest of commitments. Then there's Byron Moore, who committed to USC, decommitted from USC, eliminated USC and added the Trojans to his final three.
Joe Strummer said, "The indecisions bugging me."
He was right.
Track Five: "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats
Sample lyric: S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y
T.J. McDonald might be the one player in the class I'm most excited to see play in person. In his highlight videos, McDonald looks like a Kevin Ellison clone, playing up near the line to come through in run support.
He also will not be announcing anything come Wednesday, ignoring the ritual of choosing a cap.
Literally, he'll be a man without a hat.
Snack break. No silly jokes here. Enjoy some salsa and blue chips. (I lied. Blue chips, get it? ZING!)
Track Six: "Cover Me" by Bruce Springsteen
Sample lyric: Shut the door and cover me
This is why Carroll's decision is important. The Trojans have only one other cornerback expected to sign - four-star cornerback Torin Harris.
USC inked two corners last year, and need to continue to add to the stockpile. Byron Moore could help in this department too.
Track Seven: "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot
Sample lyric: So Cosmo says you're fat, well I ain't down with that
Not just a rockin' party tune, but an ode to the offensive linemen in this year' class. In 2008, recruiting the big fellas was a priority, as four inked with the Trojans. So far this year, two - John Martinez and Kevin Graf - have pledged to USC.
They can both do side bends and sit ups, but for Pat Ruel's sake, please don't lose those butts.
Track Eight: "The Waiting" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Sample lyric: You take it on faith, you take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part.
In a continuing trend, top targets like Bryce Brown and Orson Charles are expected to make their announcements after National Signing Day. Last year's top player, Terrelle Pryor signed with Ohio State a month after signing day.
Now, the Trojans are expected to host Brown and Charles after Wednesday, and who knows when they'll sign? My guess, it'll be sometime between Wednesday and September.
Track Nine: "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar
Sample lyric: Do I stand in your way, or am I the best thing you've had?
This is the fundamental question recruits have to ask of the universities offering them. The fact that they do this without wearing tight leather pants and a bandanna is for the best, we think.
Devon Kennard answered this when he picked USC over Cal and Arizona State. Randall Carroll is still trying to figure it out.
As the minutes to Wednesday count down, it's time to decide - searching their hearts for so long.
Track 10: "You're the Best Around" by Joe Esposito
Sample lyric: Try to believe though the going gets rough that you gotta hang tough to make it
Seriously, if space permitted it, I'd print every lyric to the song used in the karate tournament scene of "The Karate Kid." It's just full of life wisdom and gems.
This final tune of the day has to be dedicated to Pete Carroll. Carroll is a master recruiter and a master of turning some heads on Signing Day.
There will be some surprise announcements. Perhaps it will be Jarvis Jones and/or Frankie Telfort that leave state schools behind for Troy.
Just like Daniel LaRusso, Carroll isn't afraid to raise his arms over his head, balance on one foot and crane kick the college football world by landing another dominant class.
Simply, he's the best around.