USC reeled in its third commitment of the week on Friday, as three-star tight end Lake McRee (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis) announced his commitment to the Trojans.
The 6-foot-4, 217-pound McRee picked USC over other finalists Auburn, LSU, Penn State, Purdue and Washington. He’s the first tight end commitment for the Trojans in the 2021 class, the third commitment from Texas and the third commitment this week, as USC’s strong run on the recruiting trail continues.
McRee picked up his offer from USC last June after attending a summer camp with the Trojans. McRee committed to Texas shortly following that offer from the Trojans, then missed his entire junior season due to a knee injury. That didn’t keep big-time programs from extending offers however, as Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Michigan State, Penn State, Utah and Washington all offered between late January and mid March.
As a sophomore, McRee caught 17 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns. He played basketball at Lake Travis as well, and it’s evident when watching his athleticism on the football field and ability to go up and get the ball in the air.
McRee should bring plenty of versatility to the position, as he lined up in a number of different spots during his sophomore year–as an H back, in the slot, split out wide and as a traditional tight end. That position versatility should work well for him at USC, as offensive coordinator Graham Harrell showed a willingness to do that with his tight ends at North Texas.
It will be very interesting to watch the tight end position this season, as it was responsible for just 15 receptions last year. Instead, the coaches used Drake London as a fourth wide receiver, as the true freshman responded with 39 receptions for 567 yards, and he scored a touchdown reception in each of the final five games of the season. Harrell and tight ends coach John David Baker said it will be up to the tight ends this season to prove they make the offense work better with them on the field.
There are plenty of options there, as sixth-year senior Daniel Imatorbhebhe returns following two years off the field. He’ll join fellow seniors Josh Falo and Erik Krommenhoek, as well as talented redshirt freshmen Ethan Rae and Jude Wolfe. True freshman Jack Yary will be added to the roster this fall. While six tight ends is more than enough for this season, it still makes sense for the Trojans to sign one in this 2021 class, as Imatorbhebhe, Falo and Krommenhoek are all entering their final seasons at USC.
McRee is the third commitment from Texas for the Trojans, as he joins running back Brandon Campbell (Katy, Texas/Katy) and wide receiver Quay Davis (Dallas/Skyline). McRee and Davis both decommitted from the Texas Longhorns.
He’s also the third commitment for USC this week, as quarterback Miller Moss (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany) got things started when he announced his commitment on Monday. On Wednesday, wide receiver Michael Jackson III (Las Vegas/Desert Pines) made his announcement to join USC’s 2021 recruiting class. Like Jackson, McRee is another prospect who could see his recruiting ranking increase during his senior season. He’s already a top-20 tight end in the country based largely on his sophomore film. It will be interesting to see what he can put together this season after having to sit out last year.
McRee is commitment No. 16 for this USC class and the ninth on the offensive side of the ball, as the Trojans continue putting together a top-5 recruiting class in the country.
USC’s 2021 recruiting class
4-star QB Miller Moss (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany)
4-star QB Jake Garcia (La Habra, Calif./La Habra)
4-star RB Brandon Campbell (Katy, Texas/Katy)
4-star WR Quay Davis (Dallas/Skyline)
3-star WR Michael Jackson III (Las Vegas/Desert Pines)
3-star TE Lake McRee (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis)
4-star DT Jay Toia (Simi Valley, Calif./Grace Brethren)
3-star DE Colin Mobley (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic)
4-star LB Julien Simon (Tacoma, Wash./Lincoln)
4-star LB Ma’a Gaoteote (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco)
4-star S Xamarion Gordon (Downey, Calif./Warren)
4-star ATH Calen Bullock (Pasadena, Calif./Muir)
4-star ATH Anthony Beavers (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne)
3-star OT Mason Murphy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./JSerra)
3-star OG Maximus Gibbs (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco)
3-star OT Saia Mapakaitolo (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany)