Usc Lands 3 Quarterbacks, Including Head Coach's Son

LOS ANGELES - Three quarterbacks, including the son of Coach Larry Smith, signed USC letters of intent.

The Trojans need QB help because the only scholarship returnee at that position is Reggie Perry, who played in only one series last season.

The new quarterbacks are Smith's son, Corby, who played at Loyola High in Los Angeles; Rob Johnson of El Toro, Calif., and Kyle Wachholtz of Corona, Calif. Johnson, who passed for 2,788 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, is the brother of Bret Johnson, former UCLA quarterback who transferred to Michigan State.

The Trojans signed five of the 29 ``Best in the West'' selections to rank second behind Washington, which signed seven. The signings included Fontana's outstanding offensive linemen, Clay Hattabaugh and Robert Loya.

Allen Wallace, publisher of Super Prep Magazine, ranked the Trojan class No. 2 in the Pac-10 behind Washington. UCLA was No. 3 and Stanford No. 4.


-- LOS ANGELES - Jamir Miller, called the No. 1 high-school linebacker in the nation by Super Prep magazine and Blue Chip Report, was one of 16 players signed.

Miller, from El Cerrito, Calif., is one of six Bruin signees named to a high-school All-America team. The others are James Millner, running back honored as Virginia's player of the year after rushing for 2,249 yards; offensive lineman James Christensen of Anaheim, Calif.; defensive back Teddy Lawrence of San Diego; linebacker Travis Shipman of Springfield, Mo., and defensive lineman Grady Stretz of Tempe.


-- EUGENE - The Ducks signed 23 players, including The Oregonian's state offensive player of the year, running back Greg Fogle of Roseburg, and defensive player of the year, linebacker Jeremy Asher of Tigard. Asher was the only Oregon ``Best In the West'' player.

The Ducks got two excellent defensive backs in Eugene Jackson of Lynwood, Calif., and Alex Molden of Colorado Springs, Colo.

For the first time in years, Oregon didn't sign anyone from Washington.

Oregon State

-- CORVALLIS - Jerry Pettibone, OSU's new coach, went looking for an option quarterback and found three of them. The Beavers figure to land a fourth before the week is over.

Heading the list of QB signees to operate the ``spread option'' attack is Sedrick Thomas, of Pasadena, Calif., the Los Angeles Times' player of the year. The others who signed were Mark Olford of Sacramento and Kane Rogers of Washington High School outside Tacoma. Don Shanklin of Amarillo, Texas, is expected to sign tomorrow.

Pettibone has a reputation as a good recruiter but his late start and the Beavers' sorry reputation worked against him.


-- STANFORD, Calif. - The Cardinal dipped into the junior-college ranks for the first time in years. Stanford announced the signing of 28 players, and four of them are jaycees already enrolled. Another jaycee will report with the prep talent in the fall.

Two jaycee players are all-Americans - wide receiver Mike Cook of Saddleback College and tight end Ryan Wetknight of Fresno City College.

Five prep all-Americans signed: quarterbacks Justin Armour of Manitou Springs, Colo. and Mark Butterfield of Antioch, Calif., defensive lineman Allen Gonzales of Tulsa, defensive lineman David Carter of Flagstaff, Ariz., and linebacker Dave Grable of Williamsville, N.Y.


-- BERKELEY - Cal also is dipping into the junior-college ranks with four jaycee players, including 250-pound linemen Stafford Evans, from Pasadena City College, and Lane Hall of Gavilan College in Gilroy, Calif.

Hall is the brother of former Bear Rhett Hall.

Top prep recruits include Maurice Johnson, 220-pound running back from San Jose and Todd Preston, quarterback from Westlake Village, Calif., who threw for 5,600 yards in his career.

Arizona State

-- TEMPE, Ariz. - The Sun Devils apparently overcame two strikes against them: Coach Larry Marmie has only one year left on his contract and the state doesn't have a paid state holiday honoring the later Martin Luther King.

The Sun Devils benefited from a bumper crop of in-state talent to put together what appears to be a strong class. One standout is Mario Bates, who destroyed the state's single-season rushing record with 2,790 yards at Tucson's Amphitheater High School. Another gem is wide receive Carlos Artis of Washington High in Phoenix.

Last Sunday, The Arizona Republic declared ASU already had assembled a class superior to rival Arizona.


-- TUCSON, Ariz. - Not a great year on paper, but wait and see. The biggest name is Ontiwaun Carter, running back from Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, Calif. However, this ``Best in the West'' back reportedly has failed the SAT test repeatedly.

The Wildcats have two of the most intriguing recruits: Canadian linemen Ed Kucy of Edmonton and Hichen El-Mafhtoub of Montreal. They have a promising U.S. lineman in Warner Smith of San Manuel, Ariz.