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USC recruiting roundup: A decommitment and new offers

The 2020 season has taken some of the attention away from recruiting, but on Monday USC lost a 2021 commitment and extended an offer in the 2022 class.

Riley flips back to Notre Dame

Four-star cornerback Philip Riley (Valrico, Fla./Bloomingdale) is making himself very familiar with the USC – Notre Dame rivalry before he even steps on a college campus. After committing to Notre Dame in early May, Riley decided to back away from that pledge and commit to USC in late September. Now, that’s lasted all of a month and a half, as Riley announced Monday that he’s back in the Notre Dame 2021 recruiting class.

Notre Dame is rolling right now, at 8-0 on the season and the No. 2 team in the country, and the Fighting Irish coaches did a good job of reeling him back into their class.

It’s a hit to USC’s 2021 class to be sure, but it might not be a major one. The Trojans have a couple of cornerbacks still committed in Prophet Brown (Elk Grove, Calif./Monterey Trail) and Jaylin Smith (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany) and USC will go hard after four-star local corner Ceyair Wright (Los Angeles/Loyola).

USC cornerbacks coach Donte Williams (photo above) has some work left to do on this class, but has the ability to make it a great one.

If USC can finish this cornerback group with Wright — and maybe even continue chasing LSU commit Nathaniel Wiggins (Atlanta/Westlake) — the loss of Riley won’t be a major blow to this class. Although, USC’s offense will likely see plenty of him over the next few years.

New 2022 offer

USC extended an offer to 2022 wide receiver Chris Marshall (Missouri City, Tex./Fort Bend Marshall) on Monday and there were some consistent themes in the offer.

Marshall is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound big receiver who is also a standout basketball player. He’s also a Texas product. USC has made a habit of going after dual-sport standouts. The Trojans already have Drake London on the roster and have a commitment from football/basketball player Michael Trigg (Tampa, Fla./Carrollwood Day) in the 2021 class.

Marshall has generated some significant recruiting attention of late, as he picked up offers from Baylor, USC and TCU over the last three days.

Another OL offer

USC has commitments from four offensive linemen, but the Trojans are still searching through senior film to find more targets up front. One such recruit USC found was Austin Uke (Dallas/Parish Episcopal School), a 6-foot-4, 265-pound offensive tackle who has put together a nice start to his final high school season and has started to heat up on the recruiting trail.

Uke is committed to Holy Cross, but since November, he’s added offers from Houston, Vanderbilt, USC, Penn State and Florida State. Uke began his senior season unranked, but he’ll likely see a major bump when those are updated.

Two for one

USC is going hard after 2022 offensive line prospects as the Trojans need to land a few four and five-star players up front.

The Trojans have decided to do some joint recruiting, as USC is going after four-star tackles Addison Nichols (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian School) and Dayne Shor (Bradenton, Fla./IMG). Shor transferred to IMG from Georgia, so there is an in-state connection between the two tackles. There’s also a connection in their talent level, as Nichols is the nation’s No. 67 overall prospect in the 2022 class, while Shor checks in at No. 168 overall.

It’ll be an uphill climb for the Trojans in the race for both or either prospect, as both have offers from across the SEC, ACC and Big Ten. But the Trojans aren’t going to go quietly in their search for top offensive linemen in the 2022 class.

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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