USC started National Signing Day ranked at No. 8 in the 247Sports Composite but will finish even higher thanks to a great close by Clay Helton and his staff. The Trojans were in the running for several of the top uncommitted prospects coming into Wednesday, and one of the day's early themes has been how USC has become a hot place for recruits once again.
Four-star offensive tackle Austin Jackson (Phoenix) chose USC over Arizona State and Washington on signing day, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Melvin Jackson, who played offensive line for the Trojans in the 1970s. Jackson is expected to have an opportunity to contribute right away with USC losing both Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler.
Levi Jones (four-star OLB, No. 92 overall) started the day with a dramatic commitment to USC, taking off both Florida and Florida State shirts to reveal his Trojans gear during an announcement at his school in Austin, Texas. In an interview with ESPNU, Jones talked about his connection with the other members of USC's 2017 class playing a role in the decision. Hours after Jones' announcement came Jackson's, and that was followed by the commitment of Jay Tufele (four-star DT, No. 41 overall).
The last big piece of this class is five-star wide receiver Joseph Lewis. The Los Angeles product is expected to stay home and join the Trojans, but he won't make his announcement official until later in the afternoon.