The Obvious: In the span of less than a week, the USC Trojans turned the recruiting page for the class of 2021 and continued adding to the recruiting page for the class of 2022. The Cardinal and Gold recruiting fortunes went from understandable disappointment to cautious optimism, as the Men of Troy lost a 5-star defensive lineman to Ohio State to apparently close out the class of 2021 but gained their first offensive line commitment, a 3-star, for the class of 2022.
The Not So Obvious: The loss of class of 2021 5-star defensive tackle J.T. Tuimoloau (Sammamish, Wash./ Eastside Catholic) was not a shock because it was expected that Tuimoloau had his heart set from the beginning on being an Ohio State Buckeye. However, the addition of 3-star offensive lineman Keith Olson (Napavine, Wash./Napavine) for the Trojans’ class of 2022 was at worst a distraction from losing Tuimoloau and at best an intriguing young O-line prospect who is a Pac-12 legacy.
However, it shouldn’t be overlooked that there is great enthusiasm and momentum for the class of 2022 as illustrated by the response from currently committed members from that class who are determined to help bring in a super collection of athletes.
“We Not Done Yet “ ✌🏾😤 pic.twitter.com/IZblq4KYpK— Mykel Williams (@MykelW_50) July 8, 2021
The Obvious: The Trojans are hoping to continue its impressive recruiting run for the class of 2022 and are hoping to eventually upend current defending Pac-12 champion Oregon by matching the Ducks position recruiting group by position recruiting group.
The Not So Obvious: In recent recruiting battles between the Trojans and Ducks, the Trojans have been holding their own with the glaring exception of offensive linemen. If there’s a difference in the two teams at the moment and possibly into the future – to be frank – the Trojans are behind the Duckies in quantity of quality offensive line talent. While the Trojans just got a 3-star commitment from a player that could end up being a positive through development, Oregon just received a 5-star commitment from the nation’s No. 2 rated offensive lineman in Kelvin Banks (Houston, Tx/Summer Creek). The Ducks have been able to stockpile quality offensive linemen in recent seasons and the Trojans haven’t.
The Obvious: Some recruit-niks will consider the loss of defensive tackle J.T. Tuimoloau as a negative.
The Not So Obvious: The recruiting loss of Tuimoloau should not be a reflection that the Trojans didn’t do enough or were asleep at the switch. No, the Trojans fought hard for J.T. The fact that the Men of Troy were in it to the very end is a positive and a credit to the defensive coaching staff. No criticism from the O/NSO on this former prospect.
The Obvious: The Trojans had a very good recruiting month in June, and the loss of Tuimoloau shouldn’t derail future recruiting success of defensive linemen.
The Not So Obvious: Trojans D-line coach Vic So’oto has shown he can mix it up with the other big boys that recruit the position across the country, and the O/NSO won’t be shock if the Trojans get some very nice additions in the near future. Stay tuned.
The Obvious: BTW, if you’re looking for losers in the J.T. Tuimoloau derby, you’d have to say it’s the hometown Washington Huskies.
The Not So Obvious: This is the third big-time prospect that the Huskies have lost to the Buckeyes, and there is no way to put it other than current UW head coach Jimmy Lake has a lot of work to do to keep the Great Northwest talent at home. It figures that Lake will be feeling even more heat after J.T.’s Ohio State announcement. The Trojans have been working Washington and seem to be making some positive inroads with many of the locals.
The Obvious: And finally, thanks to a new recruiting dead period, fans of USC recruiting can relax and look forward to the opening of training camp, which begins the first week of August.
The Not So Obvious: Think about it, the opening of training camp will be here sooner than you can say Kedon Slovis, Drake London, and Drake Jackson.