USC landed a commitment from the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect on Saturday, as defensive end Korey Foreman will be a Trojan.
This is a massive, massive recruiting win for the Trojans. There’s really no other way to say it. Foreman was the must-get recruit for USC in this class beginning two years ago and at times it looked very unlikely that he would wind up a Trojan. Foreman committed to Clemson in January 2019, but backed away from that commitment in April when he wanted to take visits to other schools but Clemson wouldn’t allow that from committed prospects.
The Tigers stayed heavily involved in his recruitment, and Arizona State, Georgia, LSU and USC made up his final five schools.
Foreman appeared truly torn during his recruiting process. Obviously Clemson made a very strong push early on, but Foreman took unofficial visits to Georgia and LSU during the recruiting dead period and looked at times like he could commit to and sign with either of those schools. He formed a tight bond with fellow standout defensive lineman Maason Smith, who signed with LSU. Those two talked about signing as a package deal at the next level, but that won’t happen.
USC has plenty of close connections for Foreman as well, as several former teammates at Corona Centennial are on the roster, including wide receiver Gary Bryant, linebacker Tuasivi Nomura, cornerback Jayden Williams and outside linebacker Drake Jackson. Jackson’s father was Foreman’s position coach at Centennial.
Like Jackson last season, Foreman has the potential to impact the USC defense from Day 1. He’s regarded as a defensive end, but he’ll likely play the same B-Backer, hybrid linebacker/defensive end position that Jackson played this season. He’s listed at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, but he’s spent this offseason working on drops and in coverage a bit in order add that positional versatility to his game.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see defensive coordinator Todd Orlando get creative with ways to get Jackson and Foreman on the field at the same time. USC utilized Jackson and fellow outside linebacker Hunter Echols in some packages this season, and both Foreman and Jackson have the size to put their hand on the ground as a defensive end or defensive tackle in some situations.
But beyond his physical ability on the field, this is also huge commitment for USC as far as perception goes. The last three recruiting classes have presented a major, national defensive star in Southern California. Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux signed with Oregon in the 2019 class. Linebacker Justin Flowe signed with Oregon in the 2020 class. And at various points during this recruiting process, it looked as though Foreman would escape USC’s grasp as well.
Foreman already signed with USC during the early signing period and waited until today’s televised announcement to declare.
USC signed a very good group of prospects during the early signing period back in December, but it was missing that elite, headline-grabbing prospect. Foreman is that recruit in this class who will have 2021 recruits waiting until the February signing period — as well as 2022 and 2023 standouts — buzzing.
Part of the reason this USC defensive staff was assembled was their ability on the recruiting trail, and they delivered when it comes to landing Foreman. This one is big.
With Foreman’s commitment, USC’s recruiting class jumps all the way up to No. 8 in the country. It began the day at No. 14 overall, but saw the jump thanks to commitments from Foreman and cornerback Ceyair Wright.
USC still has a big target out there in linebacker Raesjon Davis, a former LSU commit who could push this USC class even higher.