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O/NSO: Class of 2021 special recruiting edition

The Obvious: In a remarkable and momentous comeback from the dismal analysis of the USC Trojans recruiting Class of 2020, Clay Helton and his staff staged a complete national comeback with the Class of 2021, a Top 10 class by any measurement and spearheaded by the nation’s No. 1 recruit, defensive lineman Korey Foreman (cover photo above).

The Not So Obvious: The Class of 2021 has a little bit of everything, which was good enough to be nationally ranked No. 8 by the 247 composite, and a combination of 14 of the newbies transfers will participate in spring practice. There are inclusions of high school talent, intriguing transfers, and a grad transfer. So, without further ado, below is the Class of 2021 with the obvious and not so obvious information.

The Obvious: A spring enrollee transfer from the University of Texas, the Trojans signed safety Xavion Alfred (6-0, 190) from Pearland, Texas (Shadow Creek HS).

DB Xavion Alfred (photo above) – Transfer from the University of Texas.

The Not So Obvious: Alfred wore No. 4 at Texas and Shadow Creek High, a Trojans’ defensive number currently worn by DB Max Williams.
Star power: 4-star (Class of 2020)
247 composite national ranking: No. 139 (Class of 2020)
Honors: Selected to participate in the 2020 All-American Bowl. 2019 All-State, Houston Chronicle Top 100 and Austin American-Statesman Fab 55 
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO8JuSt6Iyk
Did you know: Shadow Creek was originally known as “High School 3” but members of Alvin ISD’s board of trustees approved the current name in February 2014. Construction for Shadow Creek began February 2014, and it was completed in August 2016. For a young school, it quickly became a Texas prep football power. Shadow Creek was a Texas state football finalist in 2018 (5A/D1) and 2019 Texas State Champion (5A/D1).

The Obvious: A spring enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Anthony Beavers Jr. (6-2, 195) from Baldwin Hills, California (Playa Del Rey St. Bernard HS)

DB Anthony Beavers (photo above) – Baldwin Hills, California (Playa Del Rey St. Bernard HS)

The Not So Obvious: Beavers wore No. 10 at St. Bernard, a Trojans defensive number currently worn by inside linebacker Ralen Gofourth.
Star power: 4-star
247 Composite national ranking: No. 218
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/profile/2736226/Anthony-Beavers-Jr
Did you know: Other notable St. Bernard alumni include Kevin Chilton (astronaut); Royce Clayton (baseball); Corey Gaines and Wyking Jones (basketball); and Tanjareen Martin (actor/radio personality).

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed defensive back Prophet Brown (6-0, 180) from Sacramento, California (Monterey Trail HS).

DB Prophet Brown (photo above) – Sacramento, California (Monterey Trail HS)

The Not So Obvious: Brown wore No. 10 at Monterey Trail, a Trojans’ defensive number currently worn by inside linebacker Ralen Gofourth.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 159
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team and Southern California News Group Fab 15 second team
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/9694936/5e0cf58b3448921248ce3db8
Did you know: Monterey Trail High School, home of the Mustangs, is named after its location on the Monterey Trail of the 19th century, located just south of Elk Grove, which was used by travelers of the time to travel to Monterey, the capital of both Spanish and Mexican California.

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed offensive lineman Ty Buchanan (6-6, 290) from Corpus Christi, Texas (Calallen HS).

OL Ty Buchanan (photo above by maxpreps.com) – Corpus Christi, Texas (Calallen HS)

The Not So Obvious: Buchanan wore No. 75 at Calallen, a Trojans’ offensive number currently available.
Star power: 3-star
247 composite national ranking: 792
Honors: 2020 PrepStar All-Midland and All-District 15-4A Division 1 Most Valuable Offensive Lineman
Highlight: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/11571502/5df1b10f5b47f90c841e6935
Did you know: Other notable Calallen alumni include Amy Acuff (US Olympian/Playboy model); Tom DeLay (U.S. Congressman); Dustin Vaughn (NFL), Logan Verrett and Rob Zastryzny (MLB).

The Obvious: A spring enrollee,the Trojans signed defensive back Calen Bullock (6-2, 175) from Pasadena, Calif. (John Muir HS).

DB Calen Bullock (photo above) – Pasadena, Calif. (John Muir HS)

The Not So Obvious: Bullock wore No. 2 at John Muir, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 199
Honors: 2020PrepStar Dream Team and Southern California News Group Fab 15 second team
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/11680424/5e1e245a19b02f15ecb05477
Did you know: Other notable John Muir alumni include Jackie Robinson and Darrell Evans (MLB); Stacey Augmon (NBA), Scott Garnett, Richard Bell, Chad Brown, Ricky Ervins, Johnny Lynn, Marcus Robinson, Rod Sherman, (NFL); David Lee Roth (music – Van Halen).  

The Obvious: A spring enrollee, the Trojans signed running back Brandon Campbell (5-11, 195) from Houston, Texas (Lamar Consolidated HS).

RB Brandon Campbell (photo above) – Houston, Texas (Lamar Consolidated HS)

The Not So Obvious: Campbell wore No. 7 at Lamar Consolidated, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by running back Stephen Carr.
Star power: 3-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 343
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/13218220/5d87c1a990ef620ce0ab7256
Did you know: Other notable Lamar Consolidated alumni include Alan Faneca, Pierce Holt, Jacquizz Rodgers, James Rodgers (NFL); Randal Grichuk (MLB); B.J. Thomas; and John Holiday (music).  

The Obvious: A spring enrollee,the Trojans signed quarterback Jaxson Dart (6-3, 210) from Kaysville, Utah (Corner Canyon HS).

QB Jaxon Dart (photo above) – Kaysville, Utah (Corner Canyon HS)

The Not So Obvious: Dart wore No. 2 at Corner Canyon, a Trojans’ offensive number currently available.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 103
Honors: 2020 MaxPreps National Player of the Year, Sports Illustrated All-American first team, PrepStar Dream Team, Max Preps All-Utah first team, Desert News Mr. Football, All-Region and Southern California News Group Fab 15 second team
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CChCoQnEs4w
Did you know: Corner Canyon High School is a public school in Draper, Utah. It is the newest high school (2013) in the Canyons School District. Its colors are navy, silver and white, and its mascot is the Chargers.

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed linebacker Raesjon Davis (6-1, 210) from Norco, Calif. (Santa Ana, Calif. Mater Dei HS).

LB Raesjon Davis (photo above) – Norco, Calif. (Santa Ana Mater Dei HS)

The Not So Obvious: Davis wore No. 32 at Mater Dei, a Trojans’ number currently retired.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 48
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team and Southern California News Group Fab 15 first team 
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/2816993/5de854aa32e6a8105c4dd219
Did you know: Other prominent Mater Dei alumni include Heisman Trophy winners John Huarte and Matt Leinart, Matt Barkley, Matt Grootegoed (football); Stanley Johnson, LeRon Ellis, Miles Simon (basketball); and Mike Gallaher (US Congress). 

The Obvious: A fall enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive lineman Korey Foreman (6-5, 255) from Corona, Calif. (Centennial HS).

DL Korey Foreman (photo above) – Corona, Calif. (Centennial HS)

The Not So Obvious: Foreman wore No. 90 at Centennial, a Trojans defensive number currently available (At USC, Foreman will wear No. 0)
Star power: 5-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 1
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team and Southern California News Group Fab 15 first team
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/10337933/5c8b70443453c20d5ccf2c4a
Did you know: Other notable Centennial alumni include Brandon Magee, Vontaze Burfict, Will Sutton, JJ Taylor (football); and Ike Anigbogu (basketball).

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed offensive lineman Maximus Gibbs (6-6, 360) from Norwalk, California (Bellflower St. John Bosco HS).

OL Maximus Gibbs (photo above by YouTube.com) – Norwalk, California (Bellflower St. John Bosco HS)

The Not So Obvious: Gibbs wore No. 65 at St. John Bosco, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by offensive tackle Frank Martin.
Star power: 3-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 897
Honors: 2020 PrepStar All-West
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/10971741/5df81373a0186817ec8232e2
Did you know: Other notable St. John Bosco alumni include Tim DeRuyter, Todd Husak, Josh Rosen, Leon McFadden (football); Nomar Garciaparra, Dennis Lamp, Evan Longoria, Bud Smith (MLB); Schea Cotton, Jelani Gardner (basketball); Matt Katnik (track and field); and Chad Allen (actor).   

The Obvious: A spring enrollee, the Trojans signed defensive back Xamarion Gordon (6-2, 190) from Downey, Calif. (Warren HS).

DB Xamarion Gordon (photo above) – Downey, Calif. (Warren HS)

The Not So Obvious: Gordon wore No. 2 at Warren, a Trojans defensive number currently available.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 318
Honors: 2020 PrepStar All-American
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/10198174/5dbfaf78bd6a810d0cb75a31
Did you know: Other notable Warren alumni include Ryan Hollweg (NHL); John Lee (NFL); George Horton, Joe Rudi (baseball); JoJo Starbuck (figure skating); and Karen and Richard Carpenter, James Hetfield, Ron McGovney (music).

The Obvious: A spring transfer enrollee from the University of Texas and former Carthage (Texas) High star, the Trojans signed running back Keaontay Ingram (6-0, 222).

RB Keaontay Ingram (photo above) – A spring transfer from the University of Texas

The Not So Obvious: Ingram wore No. 26 at the University of Texas and No. 28 at Carthage HS, Trojans’ offensive numbers currently available.
Star power: 4-star (Class of 2018)
247 composite national ranking: No. 163 (Class of 2018)
Honors: In high school – All-America, all-state and two-time all-district honoree, played in the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game, one of three finalists for the Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year Award.
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjebBmeWHbs
Did you know: Other prominent Carthage High alumni include John Booty, Audray McMillian (NFL); George Cochran, Philip Hunter, Brian Lawrence (MLB); and Linda Davis, Jim Reeves, Brandon Rhyder (country west singers).

The Obvious: A spring enrollee,the Trojans signed wide receiver Michael Jackson lll (6-0, 200) from Las Vegas, Nevada (Desert Pine HS).

WR Michael Jackson lll (photo above) – Las Vegas, Nevada (Desert Pine HS)

The Not So Obvious: Jackson wore No. 13 at Desert Pine, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by walk-on quarterback Isaac Ward.
Star power: 3-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 366
Honors: 2020 PrepStar All-American
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/profile/13236226/Michael-Jackson-lll
Did you know: Other notable Desert Pine alumni include Pierre Jackson and Julian Jacobs (basketball).

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed wide receiver Joseph Manjack IV (6-4, 200) from Tomball, Texas (Tomball Memorial HS).

WR Joseph Manjack lV (photo above) – Tomball, Texas (Tomball Memorial HS)

The Not So Obvious: Manjack wore No. 14 at Tomball Memorial, a Trojans’ offensive number currently available.
Star power: 3-star
247 composite national ranking: No.846
Honors: 2020 All-District 15-6A MVP
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/9885969/5da7ddbc4207200710dcbbd9
Did you know: Other notable Tomball Memorial alumni include Jordan Leslie (NFL); Jimmy Butler (basketball); Chris Herrmann, Troy Patton, Drake Britton (MLB); Chad Brannon (actor); and Karlie Hay (Miss Teen USA).  

The Obvious: A spring enrollee,the Trojans signed tight end Lake McRee (6-5, 220) from Austin, Texas (Lake Travis HS).

TE Lake McRee (photo above by maxpreps.com) – Austin, Texas (Lake Travis HS)

The Not So Obvious: McRee wore No. 18 at Lake Travis, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by tight end Jude Wolfe.
Star power: 3-star
247 composite ranking: No. 479
Honors: 2020 PrepStar All-Midlands
Highlights https://www.hudl.com/video/3/10905808/5fb80e1db3c7fc0b007fcc59
Did you know: Other notable Lake Travis alumni include Michael Brewer, Garrett Gilbert, Baker Mayfield, Todd Reesing, Robert Turner, Garrett Wilson (football); and Chance Ruffin and Brett Baty (baseball).

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed defensive lineman Colen Mobley (6-4, 270) from Washington DC (Hyattsville DeMatha Catholic HS).

DL Colen Mobley (photo above) – Washington DC (DeMatha Catholic HS)

The Not So Obvious: Mobley wore No. 8 at DeMatha Catholic, a Trojans’ defensive number currently worn by corner Chris Steele.
Star power: 3-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 509
Honors: 2020 PrepStar All-Atlantic
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/9024057/5dd2c4c76e8c281040639ea8
Did you know: Other notable DeMatha Catholic alumni include Tom Fortest, Mike Johnson, Tony Paige, Steve Smith, JB Brown, Bobby Houston, Brian and Byron Westbrook, Anthony McFarland Jr. (football); Morgan Wootten, Kenny Carr, Andrian Dantley, Mike Brey, Dereck Whittenburg, Sidney Lowe, Adrian Branch, Danny Ferry, Keith Bogans (basketball); Steve Farr, Brett Cecil (MLB); and James Brown, David Aldridge (media).  

The Obvious: A spring enrollee,the Trojans signed quarterback Miller Moss (6-2, 200) from Los Angeles, Calif. (Bishop Alemany HS).

QB Miller Moss (photo above) – Los Angeles, Calif. (Mission Hills Bishop Alemany HS)

The Not So Obvious: Moss wore No. 7 at Bishop Alemany, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by running back Stephen Carr.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 71
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team and Southern California News Group Fab 15 first team
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/9207464/5ddae68a64deeb0a307fc5e4
Did you know: Other notable Bishop Alemany alumni include Casey Clausen, Steven Mitchell (football); Charli Thome (basketball); Richard “Cheech” Marin (comedian); and Jim Pons (music).

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed offensive lineman Mason Murphy (6-6, 290) from Riverside, Calif. (JSerra Catholic HS).

OL Mason Murphy (photo above) – Riverside, Calif. (JSerra Catholic HS)

The Not So Obvious: Murphy wore No. 77 at JSerra Catholic, a Trojans offensive number currently worn by Jason Rodriguez.
Star power: 3-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 381
Honors: 2020 PrepStar All-American
Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/10029295/5dbf10f95b471d0dc445501a
Did you know: Other prominent JSerra Catholic alumni include Nick Harris, Dante Pettis (football); Dennis Rodman Jr. (basketball); Austin Hedges, Chase Strumpf, Davis Wendzel, Royce Lewis (MLB); and Kyler Pettis (actor).

The Obvious: A spring enrollee grad transfer from the University of Colorado,the Trojans signed wide receiver K.D. Nixon (5-8, 190) from DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto HS).

WR KD Nixon (photo above) – Grad transfer from the University of Colorado

The Not So Obvious: Nixon wore No. 3 at Colorado and No. 1 at DeSoto High, a Trojans’ offensive number No. 3 is currently retired (Carson Palmer) and No. 1 is currently worn by Gary Bryant Jr.
Star power: 4-star (Class of 2017)
247 composite national ranking: 2017 – No. 312
Honors: PrepStar Magazine’s Top 35 All-American team
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kd+nixon+colorado+highlights
Did you know: Other prominent DeSoto High alumni include Tatum Bell, Patrick Clayton, Cyrus Gray, Bryon Hanspard, Tim Hendrix, Ellis Hobbs, Brian Jackson, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Von Miller, Jalen Mills, Marcus Murphy, Zack Orrm Casey Printers, Mark Simmons, Mike Thomas, Marcus Tubbs, Howard Wilson, Jimmy Wyrick (NFL); Marques Bolden, Matt Jones (NBA); Steven Foster, Mike Humphreys (MLB); and Jason and Jack London (actors).

The Obvious: A spring enrollee from the University of Alabama,the Trojans signed transfer defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher (6-4, 330) from Amite, Louisiana (Amite HS).

DL Ishmael Sopsher (photo above) – Transfer from the University of Alabama

The Not So Obvious: Sopsher wore No. 95 at Alabama and No. 91 at Amite HS, Trojans’ defensive numbers currently worn by defensive tackle Brandon Pili (No. 91) and Trevor Trout (No. 91).
Star power: 4-star (Class of 2019)
247 composite national ranking: No. 47 (Class of 2019)
Honors: Selected to the All-State team each of his four seasons at Amite HS
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFj3_Hd0tKc
Did you know: Other prominent Amite High alumni include P.J. Franklin, Cletis Gordon, Kevin Hughes, Aaron Morgan, Reggie Porter, and DeVonta Smith (football).

The Obvious: A spring enrollee,the Trojans signed linebacker Julien Simon(6-2, 220) from Tacoma, Washington (Lincoln HS).

LB Julien Simon (photo above) – Tacoma, Washington (Lincoln HS)

The Not So Obvious: Simon wore No. 24 at Lincoln, a Trojans’ number currently worn by by punter Ben Griffiths.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 119
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team and Southern California News Group Fab 15 second team
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sRSziVZIKI
Did you know: Other prominent Lincoln High alumni include Jon Kitna, Stafford Mays, Lawyer Milloy, Dave Williams (football); Alex Montgomery (WNBA basketball); Steve Whitaker (MLB); Bobby “Weezer” Hutchins (actor); and Thor C. Tollesfson (US Congress).  

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed defensive back Jaylin Smith (5-11,180) from Palmdale, Calif. (Mission Hills Bishop Alemany HS).

DB Jaylin Smith (photo above) – Palmdale, Calif. (Mission Hills Bishop Alemany HS)

The Not So Obvious: Smith wore No. 1 at Alemany, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 328
Honors: 2020 PrepStar All-American
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KSsruAKqdw
Did you know: Other prominent Alemany High alumni include include Casey Clausen, Steven Mitchell (football); Charli Thome (basketball); Richard “Cheech” Marin (comedian); and Jim Pons (music).

The Obvious: A spring enrollee,the Trojans signed defensive lineman Jay Toia (6-3, 325) from Inglewood, Calif. (Grace Brethren HS).

DL Jay Toia (photo above) – Inglewood, Calif. (Simi Valley Grace Brethren HS)

The Not So Obvious: Toia wore No. 77 at Grace Brethren, a Trojans’ defensive number currently worn by defensive tackle Jamar Sekona.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 182
Honors: 2020PrepStar All-American and Southern California News Group Fab 15 second team
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDxlIMCcUFc
Did you know: Grace Brethren enrolled its first ninth-grade students in 1989. Those first ten students comprised the school’s first graduating class in 1993.

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed tight end Michael Trigg (6-5, 230) from Tampa, Florida (Carrollwood Day HS).

TE Michael Trigg (photo above) – Tampa, Florida (Carrollwood Day HS)

The Not So Obvious: Trigg wore No. 1 at Carrollwood Day, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by wide receiver Gary Bryant Jr.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking:No. 128
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiAPZczs8tQ
Did you know: Carrollwood Day School, otherwise known as CDS, is a non-sectarian, co-educational independent day school for students, from age two through high school in Tampa, Florida.

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed wide receiver Kyron Ware-Hudson (6-2, 205) from Duarte, California (Santa Ana, Calif. Mater Dei HS).

WR Kyron Ware-Hudson (photo above) – Duarte, California (Santa Ana, Calif. Mater Dei HS)

The Not So Obvious: Ware-Hudson wore No. 10 at Mater Dei, a Trojans’ offensive number currently worn by Trojans quarterback Mo Hassan.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 125
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team and Southern California News Group Fab 15 second team
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ9Ow9Of-FY
Did you know: Other prominent Mater Dei alumni include Heisman Trophy winners John Huarte and Matt Leinart, Matt Barkley (football); Stanley Johnson, LeRon Ellis, Miles Simon (basketball); and Mike Gallaher (US Congress). 

The Obvious: A fall enrollee,the Trojans signed defensive back Ceyair Wright (6-2, 180) from Los Angeles (Loyola HS).

DB Ceyair Wright (photo above) – Los Angeles (Loyola HS)

The Not So Obvious: Wright wore No. 2 at Loyola, a Trojans’ defensive number currently available.
Star power: 4-star
247 composite national ranking: No. 77
Honors: 2020 PrepStar Dream Team and Southern California News Group Fab 15 first team
Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcNwzzVxFqw
Did you know: Other prominent Loyola alumni include George Kunz, Gordon Banks, Anthony Barr, Chris Conte, Danny Farmer, Jeff Grau, Al Pollard, Thomas Weber (football); Toby Bailey,k Hollis Thompson, Thomas Welsh (basketball); Garrett Cooper, Tim Layana, Ryan Lefebvre, Jim McAnany, Tom Satriano, Fred Snodgrass (baseball); and Patrick Muldoon, Paul Nassif, William Schallert, Patrick Wayne, Stan Chambers (entertainment). 

The Obvious: And finally, the Class of 2021 looks like a very talented and typical USC recruiting class from the past.

The Not So Obvious: However, like all recruiting classes in any year, you never know just how these new athletes will adjust and perform at the collegiate level, especially the one’s signed from California who didn’t play in 2020 because of COVID. That’s what makes this class so intriguing.



Greg Katz
Author
Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.


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