Three-star defensive end Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) has signed his national letter of intent to play football for USC, according to Gerard Martinez of USCfootball.com.
Dorton committed to the Trojans in August under Lane Kiffin and there was some speculation as the recruiting season wore on that there might be some distance between him and the new coaching staff under Steve Sarkisian. Like with some other USC commits during the coaching change, many wondered if there was room for Dorton in Sarkisian’s plans going forward.
Any misunderstandings were cleared up in January, however, and with an in-home and official visit under his belt by late January, Dorton was back in the fold.
Rivals lists Dorton as the #16 defensive end and #43 overall player in California. 247Sports mostly agrees on that ranking, listing him at #18 for his position and #56 in California. Yahoo! Sports gave him a four-star rating and named him the #18 player in the state.
As a senior, Dorton logged 66 tackles and five sacks. He finished his Bosco career with 163 tackles, 12 sacks, two fumble recovery and one interception
At USC, Dorton enters a promising situation at defensive end. Currently, the Trojans are heavy in upper classmen at that position but lean on the younger end. Kenny Bigelow and midyear enrollees Claudeson Pelon and Don Hill represent the only defensive linemen USC has taken in the past two years. With enough athleticism two fill a spot at end or outside linebacker, Dorton could be an interesting one to watch as he progresses through the ranks.