Photo of Scroggins during last year's Milk Bucket game with Mayfair by JJ Fiddler
It's official: next Fall incoming Lakewood senior quarterback Jesse Scroggins will trade in the red and white of the Lancers for the cardinal and gold of the USC Trojans. The long-awaited announcement from one of the nation's fifteen-most recruited high school QBs came yesterday on ESPN's College Football Live, where Scroggins spoke via satellite from a QB Camp, one of several he's attended this Summer.
That he would commit to USC was a foregone conclusion after the program finally offered him recently, following his performance at USC's summer football camp—Scroggins had said last season he'd like to go to USC if they offered him a scholarship. His desire to be a Trojan overcame the fact that he's likely have a guaranteed starting spot in the next two seasons at either of his other two top choices, Florida and Tennessee. USC on the other hand has a thick roster, including incoming freshman (and last year's top HS recruit) Matt Barkley, who just graduated from Mater Dei. Barkley is thought by many Trojan fans to be the future of the program, but Scroggins (who is one of the more fiery and competitive HS QBs in the area) certainly isn't one to shy from a challenge. Scroggins is, in the admittedly biased opinion of this site, probably a better recruit—last year as a junior, he was even-keeled, with his only real mistakes coming at the end of the Lancers' CIF semifinal loss to Poly (the result of the kind of defensive line pressure USC QBs historically haven't had to face). Barkley on the other hand is prone to poor decision-making, tossing four interceptions last season in a nationally televised win over Carson, and four more in Mater Dei's final loss of the season, in the playoffs. Scroggins also has the potential to be speedy and mobile, with a sub-five second 40 time.
Most local football experts thought that Scroggins' teammate and friend Dion Bailey's commitment to USC last week was the final sign Scroggins would play for the Trojans—either because players are more likely to go play with their friends, or because it signaled Bailey knew where Scroggins was going and wanted to keep playing with him.
The commitment will provide an interesting subtext to Scroggins' senior season with the Lancers, as they try to equal and surpass last year's CIF semifinal appearance. Along with Scroggins and Bailey, Lakewood will also field D-1 players in WR Kevin Anderson (who's committed to ASU) and Justin Utupo, who will attend Notre Dame.
Photos of Scroggins at camp on Thursday, where he announces his decision, courtesy Jose of MarinMedia.org.