CFB recruiting experts question USC approach during Early Signing Period
USC has signed 19 prospects out of the high school ranks in the 2024 class. The group of signees includes nine players on the line of scrimmage — a major priority — but it also features several misses.
With multiple high-profile recruits from past Lincoln Riley classes recently hitting the transfer portal, attention was squarely on the Trojans. On signing day, they lost Long Beach (Calif.) Millikan wideout Ryan Pellum to Oregon after being pledged to the Trojans since the summer.
On the 247Sports Signing Day Show, recruiting analysts Blair Angulo and Andrew Ivins tore into the Trojans’ strategy.
“It’s mind-blowing to me,” Ivins said. “You look at some of those pass-rushers on the West Coast, and you think those guys would have been priorities for USC instead of relying on the transfer portal. Aydin Breland was right there. What is their strategy when it comes to high school recruiting?”
Breland, a top-50 overall recruit from Mater Dei along the defensive line, had a final three of Oregon, Georgia, and Miami. The Trojans didn’t even make the cut for the kind of recruit they need as they move into the Big Ten.
USC hoped its move to the Big Ten would help in-state recruiting when it came to the top prospects, but that hasn’t played out quite as Lincoln Riley would have hoped.
Only two of state’s top 20 recruits in the industry-generated 247 Composite are committed to USC. Each of the state’s top five recruits are going elsewhere. Oregon signed seven of the state’s top 20 recruits.
“I don’t know if they are ready for the Big Ten, and that’s what scares me if I am a USC Trojans fan,” Angulo said. “The top two players they’ve landed from the state of California, which should be a recruiting hotbed for them, are both wide receivers. That’s not a position they ever need help in. That comes organically through them. From a high school standpoint, they need to attack the trenches. That is what gets them ready for the Big Ten.”
“… They have been attacking this the wrong way. They have been trying to reload through the transfer portal, and with what we saw this last season, maybe that’s not the answer for Lincoln Riley. They need to attack the high school ranks a bit more and a bit better.”