By Johnny Curren
It’s safe to say that all eyes were focused squarely on the Class of 2017 throughout last week, and for good reason. But that didn’t stop Clay Helton and the Trojans coaching staff from dishing out offers to a handful of underclassmen, including a Class of 2018 star from right in their own backyard in Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger’s Andre Hunt.
Coming forward with the offer last Tuesday, USC became the seventh program to throw its hat in the ring for the 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver, joining BYU, Oregon State, San Jose State, UCLA, Utah and Washington State.
When asked to discuss the impact of the Trojans offer during this past weekend’s King of the I.E. 7-on-7 tournament in Murrieta, where Hunt participated as a member of a loaded Premium Sports squad, he didn’t hold back.
“I really love SC, so it was big,” Hunt said. “Me and my dad, we’ve talked about this for awhile. It’s like a tradition in my family. My dad loves them, and his dad too. We just all love SC. I remember watching Reggie [Bush], Robert Woods, Marqise [Lee]…all of those guys.”
The offer from USC didn’t come out of nowhere. Trojans offensive coordinator Tee Martin stopped by Leuzinger to inquire about the talented pass-catcher last month. That led to Hunt stopping by campus two weeks ago for an unofficial visit.
“I’ve been there before, but not on a visit,” Hunt said. “I got to see everything that they had to offer, and it actually shocked me. The coaches showed me around the facilities. I talked to Coach Tee Martin. I also talked to Eric Ziskin and a couple of the other coaches. They also talked to me about the academic side of the school. It wasn’t just about football. That’s something that I really liked.”
Hunt saw time not only at wide receiver last season, where he compiled 34 receptions for 573 yards and five touchdowns, but also at safety and linebacker, where he amassed 38 tackles and one interception.
The staff at USC, however, is targeting him solely for the offensive side of the ball.
“They really like my speed,” Hunt said. “That’s the main thing they’ve been emphasizing to me.”
Despite holding such positive feelings towards the Trojans, Hunt is nowhere close to being able to name any leaders, and he’s determined to take his time with the process.
“I’m open to whoever is going to offer me, and I want to take my time and keep things open,” Hunt said. “I don’t want to commit to a school too early, then go there and have to transfer out. I don’t want to go through that. I just want to make the right choice, and go to the school that I really want to go to.”
And as Hunt goes through the process in the coming months, he has some specific things that he’s going to be looking for.
“As far as the factors that are important to me, I’m looking at whether or not it’s close to home, playing time and academics,” Hunt said.
With that in mind, Hunt hopes to take a number of unofficial visits this coming offseason, including a return-trip to USC.
“Even though I just went to SC, I want to go again,” Hunt said. “I also want to check out some other schools like Oregon, Michigan and Notre Dame – even though they haven’t offered me. And then from the schools that have offered me, I want to visit Washington State and Oregon State.”
A prospect whose stock is expected to continue to rise in the coming months, Hunt is definitely a prospect to keep close tabs on this offseason.