By Bill Seals
The Pac-12 conference is back. Five-star defensive end Korey Foreman has decided to take his talents to USC and become a Trojan. Foreman, the top ranked player in the nation according to the 247sports.com football recruiting rankings, played his high school football at Centennial High School in Corona. The 6’4”, 265 pound prospect will enroll in the fall at USC.
The signing of Foreman and the addition of Ceyair Wright of Loyola, the top ranked cornerback in the state of California, has moved the USC recruiting ranking to No. 8 in the nation according to 247sports.com. With the Oregon Ducks ranked at No. 6 in the nation in the same recruiting rankings, the Pac-12 has two schools in the top eight, which is significant to a conference that has been recently losing west coast recruits to other schools around the country.
In the state of California football rankings, USC has commitments from eight of the top 20 recruits, with another leaning to USC. Last year, USC had one commitment from the top 20 players in the state of California. When USC football struggles, the whole conference takes a hit, especially if UCLA football is down as well.
Much of the credit for this year’s recruiting success goes to Donte Williams, who was brought in from the Oregon Ducks during the offseason, to coach cornerbacks and coordinate the defensive passing game. Williams was rated the top recruiter in the Pac-12 in 2020 when he was with Oregon and he may win that honor again this season with the Trojans. Williams, who played his high school football at Culver City High School, was recently promoted to Associate head coach with the Trojans.
The current coronavirus pandemic may have assisted in retaining some of the local talent, along with recruiting prowess of Williams. Foreman indicated that the pandemic was a factor in his decision to stay closer to home. He seemed quite pleased with his decision on Saturday, stating that, “The coaching staff at ‘SC, I’m blessed to be under them and I’m thankful for everything else they have brought to me, and I’m blessed to see what the journey has to come. Fight On.”
The UCLA Bruins are currently ranked 28th in the nation, and are probably not done yet. They have left slots open for some transfers that they hope to bring in. UCLA head coach Chip Kelly has never been someone who just goes after the top guys. He likes to recruit players with upside that fit his system, as he did at Oregon.
In the 2021 class, the Bruins have a trio of four-star transfers coming in. Quarterback Ethan Garbers is transferring from Washington, wide receiver Kam Brown is transferring from Texas A&M and linebacker Jordan Genmark Heath is transferring from Notre Dame. With the speed that Kelly has been bringing in, the Bruins should be able to challenge the Trojans for the Pac-12 South division title. The 2021 football season should be exciting with the influx of talent coming to the Pac-12 conference.