One of those linebackers from the 2010 class the USC staff hopes to bring in is outside linebacker/defensive end Justin Maclin (6=4, 225) from Ridgeway High in Memphis, TN. And the Trojans offered Maclin a scholarship last month.
“I got an offer from USC about three or four weeks ago,” said Maclin. “I’m supposed to be going to their Rising Stars Camp on June 24 and 25. I like USC a lot and they are one of my top five schools. Todd McNair came by my school and I like him a lot and I’ve talked to Coach (Pete) Carroll and Coach (Ken) Norton. I think it’s one of the schools I’ll take an official visit to.”
Coach Norton has coached some taleneted linebackers during his at USC and has become a star recruiter for the Trojans. Maclin was asked what his early impression of Coach Norton and Coach Carroll was?
“He’s a laid back and funny kind of guy,” said Maclin when asked about his impression of Norton. “He just seems like a guy you’d want to be around. Coach Carroll is the same way.”
Maclin is an extremely versatile athlete, and with his size, schools are looking at him playing a variety of roles in their defense.
“All of the schools are saying I can play both linebacker and defensive end,” Maclin said. “They all want me rushing the passer and that’s what I’m designed for. Rushing the quarterback is one of the most fun things you can do."
USC has had a couple of linebackers used very effectively in the Elephant role and Maclin is aware of that. He saw the Trojans play twice last season and said he also followed the NFL draft last month.
“USC has had some great linebackers and they see me playing a role like Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews,“ said Maclin. “I also know USC lost a lot of linebackers to the NFL draft and need to bring in some linebackers this year. That’s another reason I’m interested.”
Although USC is a school, along with Michigan and Tennessee, that Maclin has serious interest, he said Alabama and LSU are his top two schools at the moment. Not very surprising considering both are extremely solid programs and Maclin is very familiar with both schools.
“I’ve visited both schools three times and the coaches come up all the time to my school,” Maclin said. “Coach (Larry) Porter and a coach from Alabama came and watched me work out. It seems like Alabama is a great place to be and they play great defense. Same with LSU, I like the way they play defense and just like everything about the school.”
So, Maclin will attend the Rising Stars Camp at USC and said he’ll also attend three other school camps.
“I think I might hit up the LSU Camp, the Alabama Camp and Tennessee Camp,” said Maclin about his summer plans.”
Tennessee had fallen on tough times in recent years, but hired Lane Kiffin as its new head coach and Kiffin assembled one of the finest coaching staffs in the country. Maclin said he’s impressed with the new head coach and his staff.
“I like them a lot and they are a cool group of people,” said Maclin of the Tennessee coaching staff. “Coach (Ed) Orgeron comes to the school and I talk to him all the time. He’s a nice guy and real good coach. Coach Orgeron is recruiting me very aggressively, probably the most aggressive out of all the coaches.”
Every prospect ultimately makes a decision on a school and has criteria they are looking for in helping them make that decision. Maclin was asked what he’s looking for in a school and football program?
“How soon I’ll be able to play, academics, and is it going to be up to par with the elite schools,“ said Maclin. “I am going to be able to win a national championship and go to bowl games. I’ll also look at my relationship with the coaches and how I am around the players.”
SCPlaybook will have more from Maclin after the Rising Stars Camp.