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USC FOOTBALL

For USC's Pete Carroll, signing day is fax-finding mission

Trojans coach and his staff will be in the office early on Wednesday, awaiting confirmation from the fax machine of another stellar recruiting class.

February 04, 2009|Gary Klein

USC football coaches will either sleep in the office or arrive early this morning to await the faxed arrival of signed letters of intent from recruits.

But perhaps the most important member of the 2009 class is already on campus.

So on Tuesday, after going through conditioning workouts on the field and in the weight room, quarterback Matt Barkley went to work on his cellphone, reaching out to players he met during a high school all-star game and campus visits.

"I've been calling and texting," said Barkley, who graduated early from Santa Ana Mater Dei High and enrolled at USC in January.

Members of Coach Pete Carroll's reconfigured staff also worked the phones in the Trojans' final push to land another top-rated class. USC has commitments from 16 high school and two junior college players. Five players are from states other than California.

The Trojans are in the mix for several uncommitted players, including linebacker Manti Te'o of Hawaii, who is to announce his choice today.

Carroll is looking forward to hearing the fax machine hum.

"We've had a terrific year out of state if it all comes to pass, and in-state we've had our guys pretty well locked up for some time now, so we'll see how it adds up," Carroll said.

It remains to be seen what effect the new coaches will have on recruiting. New defensive line coach Jethro Franklin hit the ground running a few weeks ago and played an important role in gaining a commitment from defensive end Devon Kennard of Arizona.

Special teams coach Brian Schneider and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates have mainly concentrated on familiarizing themselves with current Trojans personnel and will be actively involved in recruiting the 2010 class, Carroll said.

Asked whether he was bothered by players who make commitments but then change their minds before or on signing day, Carroll said: "It's really hard on the guys that commit real early. If they continue to listen and talk and all that they just get worn down" by other coaches. "The guys that have it in their heart and understand what commitment is, they stay with it."

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gary.klein@latimes.com

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On latimes.com

For a list of recruits who have committed to USC, go to latimes.com/sports.

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