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USC gets a commitment from a top tailback target

USC football coaches have no doubt been watching the USC basketball staff reel in commitment after commitment this week. Saturday night, it was the football program’s turn to land a big commitment, as running backs coach Mike Jinks led the way.

The commitment came from four-star running back Brandon Campbell (Katy, Texas/Katy), who selected the Trojans over a number of big-time offers, and a final top-six list of Alabama, Florida, LSU, Penn State and TCU.

Campbell is a do-it-all back, as the 5-foot-10, 190-pound tailback combines a strong build with speed and the ability to make defenders miss.

Running back might have been the most important position in this class for the Trojans, as USC will lose Stephen Carr, Vavae Malepeai and Quincy Jountti following this season and Markese Stepp is draft eligible as a redshirt sophomore, leaving just Kenan Christon as the only scholarship tailback guaranteed to be on the roster in 2021. Any tailback signed in this class will likely be counted on to provide some snaps as a true freshman, and the Trojans will likely look to sign multiple backs in this class.

Campbell is a terrific start at the position, as Texas is loaded with tailback talent this season and Jinks used all of his Lone Star State ties to go in and seal the deal with Campbell.

This is the first tailback commitment for the Trojans since Christon pledged in September of 2018, as USC did not sign a running back in the 2020 class. The new USC defensive coaches have talked about bringing some juice to the recruiting trail, but the offensive staff is rising to the occasion. It was absolutely noticeable just how noticeable Campbell’s commitment was, as USC coaches took over social media with their reactions.

Do you win games by posting twitter celebrations? No. But it’s clear to see the energy this staff has, how important recruiting has become and how this staff is going to celebrate every win, whether it comes on or off the field.

And this is a commitment that has already caught some attention. USC quarterback commit Jake Garcia (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) was quick to celebrate it. The pledge also was noted by recent USC wide receiver offer Amharic Huggins-Bruce (Dillon, SC/Dillon) and fellow Texas prospect, four-star cornerback Deuce Harmon (Denton, Texas/Guyer), who congratulated Campbell and received a quick response that the tailback would be recruiting him to USC.

This isn’t just an important commitment in that Campbell is a tailback or a significant out-of-state addition, it also comes at a time when there is absolute confusion as to the immediate future of the recruiting calendar and both high school and college football overall. USC coaches have thrown themselves into recruiting, so being able to see tangible results and keep that momentum going on the trail is a big win for the entire staff.

Campbell is the fifth commitment for USC’s 2021 class, as he joins Garcia, linebacker Ma’a Gaoteote (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), defensive tackle Jay Toia (Simi Valley, Calif./Grace Brethren) and offensive tackle Mason Murphy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./JSerra).

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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