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Keyan Burnett decommits from USC

USC lost a commitment in its 2022 recruiting class when four-star tight end Keyan Burnett (Anaheim, Calif./Servite) elected to open up his recruitment on Saturday night.

Burnett posted a message to twitter that read:

“I will forever be grateful to the staff at USC and the entire Trojan family. I would especially like to thank Coach Doege and Coach Helton for their support and the opportunities they have offered. My family and I have nothing but love, respect and admiration for USC.”

While that message from Burnett didn’t officially announce anything about a decommitment, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound tight end confirmed on Sunday that he has indeed opened up his recruitment.

Burnett is the nation’s No. 7 tight end and No. 213 overall prospect. He’s an advanced pass catcher and prides himself in his blocking ability as well. It was a big recruiting win for USC to bring him in. The Trojans offered a number of tight ends in this 2022 class, with No. 4 tight end Donovan Green (Dickinson, Tex./Dickinson) serving as a top target until his commitment to Texas A&M.

Tight end doesn’t seem to be a priority position in this class. The Trojans signed four-star prospect Michael Trigg and three-star Lake McRee, who had an impressive spring ball as an early enrollee, in the 2021 class. Both Ethan Rae and Jude Wolfe have several seasons of eligibility remaining, though injuries have derailed the start of both of their college careers. And USC brought in transfer hybrid tight end/wide receiver Malcolm Epps from Texas. He’s played both tight end and outside receiver in college.

The 2023 class has several intriguing options at tight end for USC. The Trojans have No. 9 tight end Walker Lyons (Folsom, Calif./Folsom) in state, have offered and hosted him on campus in June. USC also had No. 4 tight end Mac Markway (St. Louis, Mo./DeSmet) in for an unofficial visit in June. One name to watch going forward might be No. 3 tight end Duce Robinson (Phoenix/Pinnacle), who turned in a stellar showing at The Opening and whose dad, who played at Florida State, has a connection with USC receivers coach Keary Colbert.

But in the immediacy, this news could have a bigger impact on USC’s recruiting than just this lost commitment.

Arizona has long been targeting the Servite trio of quarterback Noah Fifita, wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan and Burnett.

Fifita is committed to Arizona and has been pushing hard for his good friends and teammates. He helped convince them to take official visits to Arizona in mid-June and has been vocal in getting them to join him in this Arizona 2022 class. The Wildcats also have an in with Burnett, whose father, Chester Burnett, played linebacker for Arizona from 1995 to 1997. If Arizona can seal things with Burnett, that leaves a tug of war for McMillan (Oregon is a finalist there as well). He’s the nation’s No. 66 prospect and No. 6 wide receiver, and a top target for USC. He took official visits to Arizona and Oregon in June, as well as an unofficial visit to USC.

USC might already be on the outside looking in for local four-star receiver C.J. Williams (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), who took visits to Notre Dame, Stanford and Texas and losing McMillan would be another blow to USC’s in-state wide receiver recruiting.

USC now sits with eight commitments in its 2022 class.

Five-star cornerback Domani Jackson (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) and five-star defensive end Mykel Williams (Columbus, Ga./Hardaway) lead the way, with four-star cornerbacks Jaeden Gould (Oradell, NJ/Bergen Catholic) and Fabian Ross (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) and three-star linebacker Ty Kana (Katy, Tex./Katy) rounding out the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, quarterback Devin Brown (Draper, Utah/Corner Canyon) is going to see a big rankings bump after a stellar Elite 11 showing and he’s supported on the offensive side by three-star wide receiver Kevin Green (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany) and three-star running back De’Anthony Gatson (Newton, Tex./Newton).

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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