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USC makes top schools lists for two 2022 standouts

Two elite 2022 prospects announced their top schools lists in recent days and USC landed on both, as four-star cornerback Jaeden Gould and four-star wide receiver Evan Stewart continue giving the Trojans a look.

Stewart is the nation’s No. 40 overall prospect and No. 5 wide receiver. The 6-foot, 180-pounder from Frisco (Tex.) Liberty High School is just one of those dynamic athletes who can do it all from the wide receiver position. Quick, fast and agile, he’s a tremendously talented athlete.

USC landed in his top-13 list, along with Alabama, Baylor, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M. He recently listed the Crimson Tide, Ducks and Longhorns as three schools he’s seriously looking at right now.

USC just signed three receivers in the 2021 class, but will always need to sign at least a couple at that position as good receivers at USC will likely be there for just three seasons. It’s a good year for elite wide receiver talent in California, as Tetairoa McMillan (Anaheim, Calif./Servite) and C.J. Williams (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) are two of the top five wide receivers in the nation, and four-star Jadyn Marshall (Stockton, Calif./St. Mary’s) is another in-state target.

On the other side of the ball, four-star cornerback Jaeden Gould (Oradell, NJ/Bergen Catholic) has spoken highly of USC since getting the offer from the Trojans. Gould put USC among his top 12 schools at this point, alongside Boston College, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee and Texas. He checks in at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and is the nation’s No. 141 overall prospect.

Michigan is the school to watch for with Gould, though Rutgers could have the hometown appeal. Gould has spoken about wanting to visit USC, so it will be interesting to keep an eye on that once unofficial visits can happen again — or if Gould sets something up on his own to see the campus without the coaches.

USC recently earned a commitment from 2022 cornerback Fabian Ross (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman), but Gould is one of several elite prospects remaining on the board, alongside five-stars Domani Jackson (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) and Will Johnson (Gross Pointe South, Mich./Gross Pointe South). Michigan is the school to watch for Johnson as well, and the Wolverines also have made a big push for Jackson.

USC holds four commitments in the 2022 recruiting class to this point: Four-star quarterback Devin Brown (Queen Creek, Ariz./Queen Creek), three-star center Dylan Lopez (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde), Ross and four-star linebacker Niuafe Tuihalamaka (Mission Hills, Calif./Bishop Alemany).

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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