While there won’t be any visitors on the USC campus until June at the earliest, recruiting still marches on for the Trojans coaches. This week, USC grabbed a big commitment, extended an offer to a graduate transfer offensive lineman, as well as several other high school prospects, and the Trojans also again landed in a few top-schools lists.
Gordon is another big, local commitment
USC landed a major commitment on Friday evening, as local four-star safety Xamarion Gordon (Downey, Calif./Warren) pledged to the Trojans. Gordon is a two-fold addition to this class, as he is talented enough to earn offers from Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and others, and he’s also a well-known local recruit.
USC coaches have talked the talk about locking down the Los Angeles area when it comes to recruiting. With Gordon in the fold, they’re showing they can walk the walk. Gordon is added to five-star local quarterback Jake Garcia (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) as well as four-star defenders Ma’a Gaoteote (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and Jay Toia (Simi Valley, Calif./Grace Brethren). Even without taking the field for spring ball or hosting unofficial or official visits, the Trojan coaches are getting buy-in from recruits.
We’ll see if they can keep that momentum moving forward.
USC offers another grad transfer lineman
The USC Trojans offered their second graduate transfer offensive lineman of this offseason, as Hampton’s Keldrick “KJ” Wilson is now officially a target. The 6-foot-5, 299-pound Wilson has one year of eligibility remaining and is looking to make a jump from the FCS level.
After redshirting his first year at Hampton, the North Carolina native started twice and played in 10 games as a redshirt freshman for the Pirates. He then didn’t play during his redshirt sophomore season, but took over as the starter at right tackle last year.
Indiana, Pitt and West Virginia have been chasing Wilson, and USC joined the hunt with a scholarship offer on Thursday.
With in-person recruiting shut down, it presents an interesting time for grad transfers, as many could be forced to make a decision without ever stepping foot on the campus of their chosen school. When former Tennessee offensive lineman Drew Richmond announced his transfer to USC, it happened in late April, after Richmond had taken an official visit to see what the Trojans had to offer.
After finding success with Richmond, who stepped in and took over the right tackle spot for USC, the Trojans are clearly looking to follow that same blueprint in 2020.
This week, USC extended another batch of offers, as the Trojan coaches have done a good job of making sure the program remains visible and relevant through this period of no-football-all-recruiting.
A 2021 offer went out to four-star cornerback Latrell McCutchin (Austin, Texas/LBJ), a former Alabama commitment who opened up his recruitment in early March. The 6-foot-1, 176-pound cornerback is a top-100 prospect and the nation’s No. 10 cornerback, but the Trojans–and everyone else–will have a big fight against Oklahoma for McCutchin’s commitment.
In the 2022 class, several in-state offers went out, and at least one could lead to a potential commitment.
Running back Rayshon “Speedy” Luke (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) absolutely lives up to that nickname, as possible the fastest prospect in the state. The 5-foot-8, 160-pound back certainly isn’t big, but he’s a tremendous talent. Last season, Luke averaged more than seven yards per rush and led the team with 700 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, and then added five receptions for 131 yards and another score.
This was obviously a big offer for Luke, and despite earlier offers from Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan and other, the Trojans could be in good shape if they continue to recruit Luke hard.
The Trojans were in early on 2022 athlete Clint Stephens (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson), as USC became his first offer this past week, then offers from Oregon and Virginia Tech followed. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound prospect plays wide receivers, safety and cornerback in high school, but he and the Trojans see him as a cornerback at the next level.
USC also offered instate 2022 tight end Sam Roush (San Jose, Calif./Valley Christian) this week. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound prospect is another top tight end recruit from Northern California. He’s the No. 3 tight end in his class and the No. 170 overall prospect. Roush visited USC earlier this year and said he’s interested in the Trojans, but still a long ways away from ending his recruiting process. Arizona State, Cal and Utah have also offered.
And of course, the Trojans were busy again in Texas. In addition to McCutchin, USC offered 2022 offensive tackle Kelvin Banks (Humble, Texas/Summer Creek). Banks is an Oklahoma State commit, having pledged to the Cowboys back in September. He’s the No. 126 overall prospect in his class and has also been offered by Arizona State, Florida State, Texas and Utah.
The Trojans also threw their hat in the ring for a few big time prospect in the 2022 class, including No. 1 safety Kamari Wilson (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Westwood), who checks in as the No. 34 overall prospect. Florida, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Carolina have offered as well, and it could be a challenge to get him out of that area.
USC will look to potentially sign two quarterbacks in this 2021 class, but the Trojans are out looking for 2022 prospect as well. And they’re chasing the best, as an offer went out to No. 1 dual-threat quarterback Gunner Stockton (Tiger, Ga./Raburn County) this week. The 6-foot-1, 196-pound Stockton is the nation’s No. 29 prospect in his class and holds offers from virtually the entire SEC as well as Ohio State.
The offer at least caught the attention of fellow Georgia prospect and USC recruit, cornerback Marquis Groves-Killebrew (Snellville, Ga./Grayson), who checks in as the No. 64 overall prospect in the 2022 class, and also checked in with Stockton on his thoughts about USC.
Trojans make more top lists
The USC Trojans landed on the top lists of three 2021 recruits this week, though there will be significant uphill battles for all of them.
On the West Coast, USC made it into the top eight for athlete Julien Simon (Tacoma, Wash./Lincoln). The Trojans offered Simon his first scholarship, but since then, plenty more schools have entered the race for the 6-foot-2, 221-pound linebacker/running back, and nation’s No. 101 overall prospect.
Simon’s final group has a heavy Pac-12 feel to it, and includes Arizona State, Cal, Michigan, Oregon, Stanford, Texas, USC and Washington. The homestate Huskies are a clear threat, and the Cardinal are always a strong competitor when academics are involved.
Two more prospects had USC on their lists, but have even more schools still involved. Wide receiver Dont’e Thornton (Baltimore/Mt. Saint Joseph) is the nation’s No. 47 overall prospect and No. 6 receiver, and announced his final 12. Arizona State, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, USC, Virginia and West Virginia remain in the mix for the 6-foot-5, 195-pound receiver.
And down in the Southeast, defensive end Shambre Jackson (Orlando, Fla./Boone) has the Trojans in his top 13. Jackson is the nation’s No. 217 overall prospect and his list reflects that of a coveted prospect. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and USC are involved.
The Trojans hope the relationship defensive coordinator Vic So’oto built with Jackson while So’oto was still at Virginia will carry over and benefit USC. But the Trojans will also have to hope that Jackson is comfortable skipping over all of those programs much closer to home and making the trek all the way across the country.