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USC makes top seven for OT Kingsley Suamataia

USC got some good news in regard to one of its top remaining targets in the 2021 recruiting class on Saturday, as four-star offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia named the Trojans among his top seven programs.

The 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive tackle is the nation’s No. 58 overall prospect, No. 10 recruit at his position, and has been one of the top targets of USC coaches for some time.

USC was joined among Suamataia’s top seven schools by Arkansas, BYU, Oregon, Utah, Utah State and Virginia. But this was the easy part for USC. From here, the difficult part will be chasing down Oregon.

The Ducks have long been considered the leader for Suamataia, as his cousins are Oregon standout offensive tackle Penei Sewell and incoming linebacker Noah Sewell. Oregon also continues to recruit extremely well along the offensive line under head coach Mario Cristobal, a former offensive lineman. The Ducks already have commitments in this class from Arizona offensive linemen Bram Walden (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro) and Jonah Miller (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro)–both USC targets.

While plugging a true freshman in at left tackle isn’t usually the best course of action, USC should be able to pitch playing time to Suamataia, as USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker is likely to move out to left tackle and then declare early for the NFL Draft following this season.

Suamataia has a prototypical left tackle frame with no bad weight, long arms and plenty of athleticism. He’s the top-ranked tackle in the West region and would be a massive addition to a USC offensive line class that already has a good base in three-star prospects Mason Murphy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./JSerra), Saia Mapakaitolo (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany) and Maximus Gibbs (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco).

Suamataia would be the highest-ranked offensive tackle signed by USC since Austin Jackson in the 2017 class. Following that hugely successful 2017 class–Jackson was joined by Vera-Tucker, Brett Neilon, Andrew Vorhees and Jalen McKenzie–USC landed just two offensive linemen in each of the 2018 an 2019 classes. The Trojans loaded up with six offensive linemen in the 2020 class, but of those 10 signees over the past three years, only three have been four-star prospects.

While the immediate plug-and-play, high four and five-star prospects haven’t been coming in, USC has shown a renewed dedication to recruiting hard along the offensive line. And with a veteran group of starters along the line this fall, the big 2020 class should have a chance to develop over the next year or two before its called to action.

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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