In the 2021 class, USC defensive line coach Vic So’oto helped land the No. 1 overall prospect in defensive end Korey Foreman and has the Trojans in the mix for No. 3 overall prospect, defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau. Now, So’oto has helped USC get involved with 2022’s No. 2 overall prospect, defensive tackle Walter Nolen (Cordova, Tenn./St. Benedict at Auburndale), who included USC among his top 10 schools on Friday morning.
His top 10 is a strong list of programs, matching the caliber of player the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Nolen is.
Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee and USC make up Nolen’s top 10.
The SEC schools making the list were no surprise, and Alabama, Florida and LSU should probably be considered strong contenders.
Interestingly, in an interview with 247 Sports, Nolen’s father listed Alabama, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon as schools he knew would make the top group. In the same story, Nolen’s father added Tennessee to some of those schools as programs recruiting him the hardest as of this past December.
Any hope for USC likely rests in the ability to get Nolen on campus this spring or summer, though the NCAA Oversight Committee recently recommended that the end of the current recruiting dead period be extended from April 15 to May 31.
Locally, defensive tackle Dejon Roney (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda) will be a target for USC, but So’oto and the Trojans are chasing several out-of-state prospects at the position. Four-star Mykel Williams (Columbus, Ga./Hardaway) is the nation’s No. 41 overall prospect and will announce his commitment in mid-May.
The Trojans have offered a number of the top defensive tackle prospects in the 2022 class, including No. 3 Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland), No. 7 Caden Curry (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove), No. 11 Anthony Lucas (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) and No. 12 Dominick James (Bradenton, Fla./IMG), among others.