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USC on top after Signing Day

first_imgIf a college football program were to describe its ideal signing day, it would be eerily similar to what transpired for USC last Wednesday. The Trojan football team performed perfectly in what could go down as one the greatest national signing days in USC history. While that might sound hyperbolic before spring practice even begins, last Wednesday meant a lot more than just bringing in the    No. 1 nationally-ranked class.The excitement and anticipation for signing day reached a fever pitch on Tuesday morning when top-rated linebacker Porter Gustin committed to USC. Prior to the announcement, rumors that Urban Meyer and Ohio State were able to secure a silent commitment during the Utah area prospect’s official visit to Columbus arose. That proved false when Gustin donned the Cardinal and Gold hat in his video announcement, setting the stage for Wednesday.Much like last year, when Sarkisian and company were able to close on the talented trio of Adoree’ Jackson, Juju Smith and Damien Mama, last Wednesday presented another chance to assert southbound recruiting dominance for the Trojans. They hit on this year’s big three, nabbing linebacker John Houston and lineman Rasheem Green from Serra and coupling that with defensive back Iman Marshall from Long Beach Polytechnic.After closing on the final five commits — Osa Masina and the aforementioned four — it was assumed that the Trojans had closed out their class. They had one last surprise in store, however. Through blue shirting offensive lineman Clayton Johnston, they were able to add Salesian defensive lineman Kevin Scott to add an exclamation point to a phenomenal day.Much like Lamont Simmons last year, Scott could be the under the radar prospect signed at the last minute that ends up paying major dividends down the road. While Simmons didn’t have an impact last year, he adds depth to secondary moving forward. The same can be said about Scott, who at 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds can grow into his frame and add versatility to the line.The influx of talent is huge for the Trojans. In between injuries and sanctions, the roster has been whittled down significantly. The first full class in the Sarkisian era will alleviate some areas of concern. The team won’t fully recover for another year or two, but it definitely helps to have so many freshmen who can contribute right away.Much has been made about the fact that rankings aren’t always accurate and this excitement might be premature. One can point at highly-touted recruits at USC who never materialized like Whitney Lewis, Cyrus Hobbi and Blake Ayles. However, for every Lewis and Ayles there is also a Brian Cushing or Rey Mauluagua, who were both top 20 recruits when they were brought to USC.Given the choice between a bevy of five-star recruits and an average recruiting class, every coach in the country would take the highly-touted prospects. Now it’s up to the position coaches and players to fulfill their immense potential as individuals, and as a class.The jury is still out regarding the effects the players will have on the field, but even more profound than the talent grab is the effect that last Wednesday had on the USC football program’s reputation. Los Angeles is a frontrunner city, and when teams are good, the fan base comes out.That’s just how it is, and it probably won’t ever change. The fan base came out on Wednesday — students could be overheard casually discussing the commitments of Green and Houston. People even streamed the Iman Marshall announcement and music video in class. The last few years have been plagued by empty seats in the student section. Outside of the 2013 Stanford game, this is the first time there has been a noticeable level of excitement and attention paid to the team on campus. There was a palpable level of tension prior to Marshall’s announcement. That buzz has been missing, and Wednesday was the first sign that it could be coming back.On a grander scale, USC flexed its muscles to the college football world. Teams that go 9-4 don’t generally close on every single target. Even more impressive, not one Trojan-commit defected on signing day. When was the last time a school got over 20 teenagers to stay resolute in their commitment?Pac-12 teams definitely took notice. Even though Oregon has dominated the conference the last couple of years and just played in the national championship game, they were thoroughly outclassed by the Trojans on the recruiting trail. UCLA has beat USC three straights on the field, and while they put together a great class in their own right, they didn’t beat out USC head-to-head for any of the top LA-based prospects.Free from the unjust sanctions of the NCAA, the Trojans made a statement on Wednesday. To the NCAA, they effectively said that no matter how hard it tries to cripple USC, we still are a national powerhouse. Reputation and public perception matter when it comes to college football. USC did a lot to boost their credibility last Wednesday; now the key is making sure the on-field product matches the recruiting abilities of the Trojan program.last_img read more

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ESL cements long term partnership with Pringles

first_imgAfter Pringles initially sponsored last year’s ESL One Hamburg, it’s been announced that the snack brand has entered a long-time commitment with the esports company. This new agreement means Pringles will act as a sponsor for multiple events ran by ESL in Germany and Poland.Pringles will be the major sponsor of ESL Meisterschaft, and will also have a hand in Gamescom Cologne, ESL One Cologne, and IEM Katowice. This partnership saw the crisp company create personalized cans with esports teams on them and then deliver them to 20,000 spectators at ESL Hamburg.Dominik Schafhaupt, Pringles’ Senior Brand Manager for Northern Europe, spoke on the extended partnership. “Our successful premiere in Hamburg confirmed it: Pringles and esports, it fits. The feedback from the community was sensational. Extending the partnership was a logical next step and as an international brand, we’re happy to be in Katowice this year, esports’ biggest stadium event.”Bernhard Mogk, ESL’s SVP Global Sales & Business Development, also touched on the deal. “The community feedback to the Pringles brand was fantastic last year: fans and players both were excited. That’s why we look forward to deepening the partnership on a national and even on a global level.”Esports Insider says: Clearly, once ESL popped, it couldn’t stop. It’s great knowing that a company as big as Pringles tested the water in esports and thought it was too good to pass on in the future. We look forward to seeing what other cool things it does at upcoming events.last_img read more

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