USC continues pursuit of offensive linemen recruits

Even with a new regime taking over at Heritage Hall, it appears USC has been able to retain much of the recruiting class many feared it would lose after former coach Pete Carroll left his post earlier this month.

According to the recruiting service, the team’s 2010 recruiting class is ranked seventh nationally.

But despite the team’s high marks, it doesn’t appear as if USC coach Lane Kiffin is slowing down his recruiting push. With a short amount of time left in the recruiting season, the Trojans are now targeting two of the country’s most prominent offensive linemen: Giovanni Di Poalo of St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, Calif. and Chaz Green of Tampa Catholic in Tampa Bay, Fla.

Di Poalo is expected to sign with the Trojans next Wednesday after reportedly enjoying his official visit this past weekend. Currently, ESPN lists Di Poalo as the 38th-ranked offensive guard and describes him as one of the best run blockers in the country, which would be a welcome addition to a USC running game that struggled last season.

In addition to Di Poalo, the Trojans remain in the hunt for offensive tackle Green, who was once committed to Tennessee before Kiffin left for USC. Despite his size, the 320-pound Green is regarded by many scouts as one of the more athletic linemen in this class.

Green is also being actively pursued by Florida, Ohio State, Tennessee as well as USC and is scheduled to visit campus this weekend.

According to statements from USC, quarterback Matt Barkley underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist Tuesday morning.

Barkley reportedly hurt his wrist early in the season, leaving him with stiffness and inflammation. Although he sat out against Washington because of a shoulder injury, no reports of a wrist injury were ever disclosed by USC. Just like the shoulder, the wrist injury is on his throwing arm.

Barkley is expected to make a full recovery and participate in spring practice in March, where he and senior Mitch Mustain will compete for the starting job under new head coach Lane Kiffin.

“It’s just a minor cleanup. He’s going to be ready for spring practice,” Barkley’s personal quarterback coach Steve Clarkson told ESPN. “But he needed to get the surgery. He’d hurt it early in the year, back around the Ohio State game, and he just played with it. It was affecting his ability to turn his thumb down and throw a spiral with any consistency.”

Barkley passed for 2,735 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman in 2009 as the Trojans finished 9-4. He threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to running for a score, in a 24-13 win against Boston College in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 26, 2009.

Barkley’s first season with the Trojans ended up being the first time in eight years that USC failed to make a BCS bowl, breaking a streak that dated back to the 2002 Orange Bowl against Iowa.