Oluwole Betiku Commits to USC on Christmas Day


Death. Taxes. And Serra’s five-star talents going to USC. Defensive end Oluwole Betiku joined a long line of Cavaliers to pick the Trojans, as the five-star is Clay Helton’s first commitment as head coach.

Oluwole Betiku announced his Christmas afternoon commitment on Twitter.

Betiku, at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, is the nation’s top weakside defensive end per 247Sports, along with the No. 1 overall recruit in the state of California.

Assuming he signs on Signing Day, Betiku would mean that USC has wrangled in the state’s top prospect in three straight years, joining Serra’s Adoree’ Jackson in 2014 and Long Beach Poly’s Iman Marshall in 2015.

The recruitment of Betiku has been an interesting ride, to say the least. While USC started on good footing last February after his first full year of football, the Trojans quickly fell behind.

In May, he released a top six that included the likes of UCLA and Penn State, but omitted the Trojans. Betiku then verbally committed to the Bruins a few months later in August, only to re-open his recruitment in October.

Since then, despite USC being coached by an interim head coach and a dead duck defensive coordinator, the Trojans rallied. Going into commitment day, Troy was such a lock for Betiku that 247Sports had him pegged as an 88 percent favorite.

Sep 26, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive tackle Rasheem Green (94) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Betiku followed through and gives USC a much-needed edge rusher with an incredibly high ceiling. He’s the first player to flip to USC after committing to UCLA since fellow classmate Michael Pittman, who also made a holiday announcement on the Fourth of July.

Just last year, despite playing alongside the likes of blue chippers Rasheem Green(pictured) and John Houston, it was Betiku that was arguably Serra’s best player, albeit in his first year as a footballer after moving to the United States from Nigeria in 2013.

Where he fits into USC’s plans remains to be seen, considering that the Trojans are without a full-time defensive coordinator. However, Betiku can play all three defensive end roles, depending on which is deployed in next year’s scheme.

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With Betiku joining a crop of young defenders that includes Porter Gustin, Osa Masina, Cameron Smith and the aforementioned Green and Houston, the future is mighty bright for the USC front seven. Smith was named as a freshman All-American and is tied for the team lead in tackles despite missing the season’s final three games.

SEE MORE: Full list of USC’s 2016 Commitments

The Trojans now have 15 commitments in the 2016 recruiting class, including a pair of Serra teammates in Betiku and four-star defensive back C.J. Pollard.

There are five remaining scholarships left for USC to use on Signing Day. Potential targets include Concord De La Salle linemen Devin Asiasi and Boss Tagaloa, Long Beach Poly athlete Jack Jones, and former Trojan linebacker commit Mique Juarez of Torrance.