USC made the biggest splash at the end — landing a 330-pound cannonball named Seantrel Henderson, to be exact — but the battle for LA proved to be the most interesting subplot on National Signing Day. Lane Kiffin closed strong at USC, but his crosstown rival, UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel, more than held his own.
Neuheisel got his own out-of-state blue-chipper in Portland, Ore., defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, and the Bruins won two head-to-head matchups with the Trojans. They signed Fontana, Calif., linebacker Josh Shirley and La Canada, Calif., safety Deitrich Riley, both of whom were USC targets. The Trojans struck back, though, signing Ventura, Calif., offensive lineman Giovanni Di Poalo, who was headed either to Troy or Westwood.
After Henderson signed with the Trojans, Rivals.com ranked USC’s class No. 2 in the nation and UCLA’s class No. 8. Though the Trojans won that round, the Bruins made up a ton of ground. Plus, thanks to the Twitter foibles of USC signee Markeith Ambles, some enterprising UCLA student is going to make a fortune selling “Fight On, Trogans” T-shirts.