USC continued building its 2022 recruiting class over the weekend, landing a commitment from inside linebacker Ty Kana. The Trojans also landed among the top schools for a pair of Top-50 prospects, and were again active in sending out offers over the past week.
Texas Ty commits
USC landed a commitment from three-star inside linebacker Ty Kana (Katy, Tex./Katy) on Saturday morning, as the 6-foot-2, 210-pound defender signaled that he’ll head west to play his college football.
Kana held early offers from Virginia Tech, Baylor and Washington, and it didn’t take long for USC’s new defensive coaches — namely defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and safeties coach Craig Naivar — to extend an offer after they landed at USC. Kana’s USC offer came in late February of 2020.
Kana is a very intriguing prospect, as he rated as a three-star and the No. 18 inside linebacker in the country, but he is one of the most productive defensive players in the state of Texas and draws rave reviews from every coach who works with him.
Kana is a terrific athlete, as he was a unanimous first-team all-district selection as a junior and also competes in track and field, running both the 100 and 200, as well as throwing the shot put and discus. He was an integral part of a Katy defense that helped the team to a state championship this past fall.
Kana has drawn comparisons to former Katy linebacker Paddy Fisher, who became a star in the middle of the Northwestern defense. Interestingly, Fisher won the Lott IMPACT Trophy on Sunday. While Naivar is unable to comment publicly on Kana, he was able to say a few words about Fisher, which gives a little glimpse into why recruits are able to form such a strong bond with the USC safeties coach.
Katy is a school the USC coaches have hit hard. Running back Brandon Campbell signed with the Trojans out of Katy, but wound up transferring elsewhere before opting out of his senior season. USC went hard after defensive end Malick Sylla, who committed to Texas A&M, as well as cornerback Bobby Taylor, who also looks like he could be headed to Texas A&M. Last fall, USC became the first offer for 2023 safety Arian Parish, another Katy defender.
Kana is also an interesting fit at USC, given the linebackers the Trojans signed in this past class. While Raesjon Davis and Julien Simon can do just about everything asked of them on a football field, Davis’ strength might be on the edge and Simon’s out in space. Kana might not check in quite yet at the height and weight of a college junior middle linebacker, but his game might translate there a little better. He’s comfortable with Orlando’s 3-4 system and should be a quick study. His running ability should also be a huge advantage in making the jump to this level, as teams continue to spread the field and force inside linebackers to make tackles out toward the sidelines.
If it’s viewed as a simple trade between USC losing a commitment from four-star linebacker Niuafe Tuihalamaka (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany), the nation’s No. 62 overall prospect, and replacing him with Kana, the nation’s No. 456 player, it likely won’t get USC fans excited. But this is a talented player who should see his stock continue to rise through his upcoming senior season.
USC lands in top groups
Two top USC targets in the 2022 class released their top schools over the weekend, as five-star wide receiver Kevin Coleman (St. Louis/St. Mary’s) and four-star outside linebacker Cyrus Moss (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) (main photo) will continue on with their USC interest.
Coleman included USC among his top eight schools, along with Alabama, Arizona State, Florida State, Georgia, Oregon, Penn State and Texas. He’s the nation’s No. 18 overall prospect and No. 3 wide receiver. At 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, Coleman has elite quickness and route running ability. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands after the catch and he has the acceleration and top-end speed to excel as a deep threat as well.
USC targeted a number of highly-ranked out-of-state receivers last year and came up short. Coleman has a big-time list of schools still in it and he’ll get a hard sell from a few of them, with Texas maybe at the top of the list. But the Trojans will try to team him up with a couple of bigger local receivers in five-star Tetairoa McMillan (Anaheim, Calif./Servite) and four-star C.J. Williams (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) in what would be the best class of receivers in the country.
Moss included USC among his top 11 programs, along with Alabama, Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and Penn State.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Moss has been interesting to watch over the past couple of years as he started out as a lanky safety but continues to add weight and move down closer to the line of scrimmage. He’s listed now as a defensive end, but could be a perfect fit as that hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end in Orlando’s defensive scheme.
Moss is another standout prospect at Bishop Gorman. USC already holds a commitment from his teammate, four-star cornerback Fabian Ross, and the Trojans will also chase four-star safety Zion Branch and his brother, 2023 wide receiver Zachariah Branch.
Trojans send out offers
USC was active on the trail again over the past week, extended another handful of offers.
The Trojans were in on the run for 2023 offensive tackle Spencer Fano (Provo, Utah/Timpview) as he picked up offers from Arizona State, Oregon and USC on back-to-back days last week. It appears as though it’ll be a regular occurrence that those three schools go after the same player, as USC coaches are fighting a growing recruiting rivalry on two fronts right now.
USC continued to toss offers at young Texas defensive backs, as 2023 safety Peyton Bowen (Denton, Tex./Guyer) added an offer from the Trojans. Baylor, and Georgia Tech also offered this past week. USC also offered 2024 cornerback Jaden Allen (Aledo, Tex./Aledo), as Naivar continues to cast a wide net in the area to make sure USC is on the minds of top Texas prospects.
Texas wide receivers can be targets as well, and USC offered Jaquaize Pettaway (Houston/Langham Creek) last week. Pettaway is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound prospect who caught 55 passes for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns last season. The offer from USC set off a mini-run for him, which included offers from Texas, Baylor, Marshall and Penn State. In announcing the offer, Pettaway mentioned USC wide receivers coach Keary Colbert and tight ends coach Seth Doege, as well as new quality control analyst Bryan Carrington, who came to USC from Texas and brings with him a ton of connections in that state.
But it wasn’t all out-of-state offers for the Trojans this past week, as USC made a big offer much closer to home, as 2023 safety Ty Lee (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco). The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Lee is the first cousin of USC wide receiver Bru McCoy. With that connection, and this being Lee’s first offer, it’s easy to see USC jumping out to a big lead early on for Lee.
St. John Bosco has amassed so much young talent in the defensive backfield, along with some veteran returners, that it will be very interesting to see how playing time shakes out this spring.
The Trojans also extended another offer at running back this week, as Branson Robinson (Madison, Miss./Germantown) officially joins USC’s target list.
The 5-foot-10, 220-pound back is a three-star prospect and the nation’s No. 423 overall prospect, but his offer sheet is extremely impressive.
Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee and others have already offered Robinson, who rushed for 1,179 yards and 15 touchdowns on only 121 carries last season. It’ll take some effort to pull Robinson away from the SEC at this point.
USC adds another elite recruiter
There hasn’t been an official announcement yet, but it appears the Trojans will add Jeff Martin to the recruiting department, as USC was able to lure him away from LSU. Martin has been an integral part of LSU’s recruiting success and is a known and respected figure in the national recruiting landscape. This is another major move for USC, as the Trojans will now add Martin and Bryan Carrington in the same offseason, giving USC two more standout recruiters. While USC’s on-field performance this fall still might have the most impact on just how good this 2022 class can be, it’s a virtual guarantee that both Carrington and Marin will help USC land a prospect it wouldn’t have been able to before their additions.