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USC recruiting roundup

Top 2021 prospects including USC among their top schools and a major target setting his decision date were a few of the happenings over the past week in the world of USC recruiting.

Foreman’s Final Seven

The biggest news came from the biggest remaining target on USC’s board, as No. 1 overall prospect Korey Foreman (Corona, Calif./Centennial) cut his list of finalists down to seven schools. USC will battle it out with Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Howard, LSU and Oregon for a commitment from the 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive end.

Foreman originally committed to Clemson back in January but has since opened his recruitment up. USC absolutely has the home field advantage here, but the Trojans will need to work. Clemson is still in the mix, both Georgia and LSU have major selling points and Oregon is a real option after the Ducks signed top Southern California defensive prospects Kayvon Thibodeaux and Justin Flowe in the past two classes.

With all the positive steps USC has taken with regard to recruiting–upgrades to the recruiting department, a new defensive staff of coaches that recruit as hard as any assistants in the conference and a great start to the 2021 class–it will feel just a little hollow if Foreman isn’t ultimately a part of this 2021 group. USC needs to get back to landing the elite local prospects it has missed on recently.

Elite Safety Includes Trojans

USC’s 2021 recruiting class already includes several talented safeties in four-star prospects Calen Bullock (Pasadena, Calif./Muir), Xamarion Gordon (Downey, Calif./Warren) and Anthony Beavers (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne). The Trojans are in the mix for another, as four-star safety Derrick Davis Jr. (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) included USC among his final seven schools.

Davis has a mix of local schools in Penn State and Pitt, with national recruiting powers Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and USC. According to 247, Davis has family in Calabasas and is interesting in visiting USC. But at this point it’s tough seeing any program beat out Penn State for the 6-foot-1, 195-pound safety, rated as the nation’s No. 52 overall prospect.

There is plenty of position versatility with the committed defensive backs, as Bullock could potentially play cornerback and Beavers could wind up as linebacker at some point in the future. So even though Davis is still something of a longshot, there is no major concern about overcrowding the position if another safety joins the class.

Running Back Recruiting

The Trojans are looking at add a second back in this class and a couple targets have emerged there, as USC landed among the final eight schools for three-star back Tavierre Dunlap (Del Valle, Texas/Del Valle) and continues chasing three-star back Logan Diggs (Metairie, La./Archbishop Rummel).

Both backs check in at about 6-feet and 195 pounds and are being chased by some big programs. Dunlap is clearly comfortable leaving the state, as his recently-released top eight features four Pac-12 programs and no schools in Texas.

Arizona State, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, USC, Utah, Virginia Tech and Washington are all still in the mix for Dunlap, as Trojans’ running backs coach Mike Jinks looks to use his Texas tied to grab a second Lone Star State back in this class. Four-star prospect Brandon Campbell (Katy, Texas/Katy) is already committed.

Diggs and Dunlap have several of the same schools chasing them, as Arizona State, Oklahoma State and USC are in the mix for both. Notre Dame and Michigan State also have Diggs as a top target.

Commitment Dates Set

Two of USC’s top targets in the 2021 class announced their decision dates this week. The first will be from five star defensive tackle Damon Payne (Belleville, Mich./Belleville), as he plans to commit on July 26.

Payne is the nation’s No. 18 overall prospect and USC is involved as one of his top schools, but Alabama looks as though it will be just about impossible to beat here.

But one recruit that USC does have a real shot at is four-star cornerback Nathaniel Wiggins (Atlanta/Westlake). The Trojans will need to wait a bit, as the 6-foot-2, 170-pound athlete won’t announce his decision until August 28. Wiggins has some options closer to home in Florida and LSU, and Oregon is in the mix as another West Coast program. USC is absolutely a major player for Wiggins and he would be a huge addition to this class. Wiggins has flown up the rankings this offseason and is the No. 71 overall prospect according to 247–No. 123 overall and No. 10 cornerback in the composite rankings.

Top 10 for 2022 Standout

USC cornerbacks coach Donte Williams said he won’t shy away from going up against whatever schools he needs to in order to bring in the players USC wants and needs. He has USC in the hunt for one of the best players and cornerbacks in the 2022 class, as potential five-star defensive back Jaheim Singletary (Jacksonville, Fla./Robert E. Lee) included USC among his top 10 schools.

Florida, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee are the SEC schools on the list, while Florida State is there as well. Arizona State, Clemson, Oklahoma, Texas and USC round out the list for the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder who checks in as the No. 15 overall prospect in his class.

New Offers

A few new offers went out over the past week.

On Monday, USC offered four-star offensive tackle Blake Fisher (Avon, Ind./Avon). The 6-foot-6, 335-pound lineman is the nation’s No. 51 overall prospect and has been committed to Notre Dame since June 2019.

Fisher announced the USC offer, but didn’t take long to follow that up by stating that he is still firmly committed to Notre Dame.

USC also sent a couple recent offers out to future classes, as 2022 outside linebacker Abdul Carter (Glenside, Pa./La Salle College) and 2023 defensive tackle Sydir Mitchell (Oradell, NJ/Bergen Catholic) grabbed offers from the Trojans. Clearly, distance will be a factor to overcome for both, but USC hasn’t shied away from recruiting the Northeast as defensive line coach Vic So’oto developed some deep connections there while serving as an assistant coach at Virginia. Mitchell’s teammate at Bergen Catholic, 2022 four-star cornerback Jaeden Gould, is a top target in this next class for USC.

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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