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USC recruiting stays hot as Calen Bullock commits

The USC Trojans added another big piece to their 2021 recruiting class on Saturday afternoon, as four-star athlete Calen Bullock announced his commitment.

It’s the third commitment this week and fourth of the month for the Trojans, as the new defensive coaches and some department changes have sparked USC recruiting.

Bullock (Pasadena, Calif./Muir) is a four-star athlete, capable of playing wide receiver, cornerback or safety at the next level, though the 6-foot-2, 175-pound prospect is likely headed to the Trojans as a defensive back. He’s a top-250 prospect, California’s No. 21 recruit and likely would have risen even higher if spring football hadn’t been shut down when it was.

With the commitment, USC continues its strong run of defensive back – and specifically, safety – recruiting under safeties coach Craig Naivar and cornerbacks coach Donte Williams. Bullock joins fellow four-star safety Xamarion Gordon (Downey, Calif./Warren) and four-star defensive athlete Anthony Beavers (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) as commitments to USC this month.

Bullock will likely need to add some weight to what is a good frame, but he already displays tremendous instincts as a safety and a real ability to go up over wide receivers or defenders to get the ball. With a couple of big hitters already in the fold in Gordon and Beavers, the rangy Bullock is a nice compliment and should reinforce a safety position that will lose Talanoa Hufanga and Isaiah Pola-Mao in the next two years

Last season, Bullock finished with 40 receptions for 914 yards and eight touchdowns on offense, and defensively, he had 45 tackles, one sack and six interceptions.

Like several other prospects in this class, the importance of Bullock’s commitment extends beyond just what he can do on the field. USC’s last four commitments have been Gordon, Beavers, offensive lineman Maximus Gibbs (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and Bullock. All four are well-known local recruits from different areas of Los Angeles, and all four commitments will help the USC coaches sell the fact that they are looking to put a fence around Los Angeles.

After signing just one of the top prospects in the state of California in the 2020 class, USC now holds commitments from five of the top 21 in-state recruits.

It makes a statement when USC can beat UCLA for a Pasadena product, and the Bruins signed former Muir standout John Humphrey in the 2020 class. Bullock’s game is fairly reminiscent of Kevon Seymour, who was another dynamic prospect from Muir who went on to USC. While they might wind up at different positions, for the Trojans, Bullock has that same smooth, gliding style to his game that Seymour had, and both are extremely dangerous with the ball in their hand.

And there’s a chance USC might not be done at Muir, as four-star cornerback Jamier Johnson has been offered by the Trojans.

Bullock is commitment No. 9 for the Trojans, as USC continues to hold onto the No. 1 class in the Pac-12 and is pushing toward top-five status in the country.

USC’s 2021 recruiting class is led by five-star quarterback Jake Garcia (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) and now six four-star prospects, as Bullock joins Gordon, Beavers, linebacker Ma’a Gaoteote (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), defensive tackle Jay Toia (Simi Valley, Calif./Grace Brethren) and running back Brandon Campbell (Katy, Texas/Katy). USC also holds commitments from two big offensive linemen, in tackle Mason Murphy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./JSerra) and Gibbs.

While USC loaded up with defensive backs in the 2019 class, the Trojans did not sign a cornerback or safety in the 2020 class, which puts a premium on the position this year. USC is still in the mix for four-star safety Jaylin Smith (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany), another prospect with some positional versatility who plays both ways in high school.

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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