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USC lands in top four for defensive end Zac Swanson

USC doesn’t yet hold a commitment from a defensive lineman in its 2022 recruiting class, but the Trojans took a small step closer to potentially adding on on Monday, when four-star defensive end placed USC among his top four teams.

The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Swanson (Phoenix/Brophy Prep) is the nation’s No. 344 overall prospect and No. 20 strongside defensive end. His final four schools include Kentucky, Oregon, Texas and USC. It’s an interesting group, considering the Wildcats, Longhorns and Trojans represent his three most recent offers and all three came after late-January.

USC offered on January 25, the same day Swanson posted his junior film to Hudl. Clearly, USC defensive line coach Vic So’oto was impressed with what he saw. The big defensive end possesses a quick first step, consistently plays across the line of scrimmage and uses his hands well to disengage blockers. Swanson also runs very well and shows great pursuit to the ball. Brophy Prep went 0-7 last season, but Swanson played in six games and had 24 tackles, including a team-high seven for loss, a sack, a fumble recovery and seven quarterback hurries.

While he plays defensive end and could stick there at the next level, he has the size and frame to be a really nice addition to the USC defensive line in this scheme that asks defensive linemen to be somewhat versatile in occasionally moving inside and outside.

The Trojans need to sign several defensive linemen in this 2022 class, as USC grabbed four in the 2021 class, but Korey Foreman is likely headed to outside linebacker and Jay Toia is a pure tackle.

USC found a potential star at defensive end in the 2020 class, as Tuli Tuipulotu turned in a tremendous true freshman season last fall. But the Trojans will lose Caleb Tremblay following the upcoming season and Nick Figueroa could leave as well as he again enters his redshirt junior season. Jacob Lichtenstein will be a redshirt junior as well. Three-star defensive end Colin Mobley signed with USC in the 2021 class and will add depth at the position this season.

USC signed defensive end Connor Murphy out of Brophy Prep in the 2016 class but he elected to transfer to UNLV this offseason. The Trojans also signed offensive lineman Andrew Milek out of Brophy Prep in the 2020 recruiting class.

USC holds five commitments in its 2022 class at this point, headlined by five-star cornerback Domani Jackson (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei). He’s joined by four-star cornerback Fabian Ross (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman), four-star quarterback Devin Brown (Queen Creek, Ariz./Queen Creek), three-star linebacker Ty Kana (Katy, Tex./Katy) and three-star offensive lineman Dylan Lopez (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy).

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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