Eli’Jah Winston signs with USC on Signing Day 2018


Four-star linebacker Eli’Jah Winston completed his flip from Oregon to USC by signing his letter of intent for the Trojans on Signing Day 2018.

A day after announcing his decision to flip his commitment from Oregon to USC, Eli’Jah Winston is officially a Trojan.

The four-star linebacker signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, joining USC’s class of 2018.

Will the Portland-product take flight in Troy?

The Skinny

Winston committed to Oregon at the end of November, but head coach Willie Taggart’s defection to Florida State put an asterisk on that commitment as the linebacker kept his options open without officially de-committing.

After taking an official visit to USC near the end of January, Winston took the plunge on the eve of Signing Day, announcing his commitment to the Trojans shortly after Tuli Letuligasenoa announced his flip from USC to Washington. Losing one recruit seems to have opened the door for another.

At 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, he ranks as the No. 21 inside linebacker and No. 364 overall player for 2018.

Where He Fits in 2018

The big question for Winston, as with many of USC’s linebacker recruits, is where he’ll line up at the college level.

Though he is listed as an inside linebacker by recruiting services, most of his action in high school came as a pass rushing linebacker coming off the edge. That would fit more in line with USC’s strongside linebacker position.

MORE SIGNING DAY: Tracking All of USC’s Class of 2018 Signings

Of course, USC’s propensity to double-train linebackers at both inside and outside positions could give Winston the opportunity to find his best fit in Clancy Pendergast’s system.

Either way, given the numbers the Trojans have brought in both inside and outside, Winston is likely to redshirt, or see most of his first-year action on special teams.

High School Highlights

Eli’Jah Winston reminds us of…Devon Kennard

He’s not a five-star recruit like Devon Kennard, nor as massive coming out of a high school. But Winston is a big-framed linebacker whose size gives him the ability to play both inside and off the edge, much in the same vein as Kennard, who started at three different positions for the Trojans. That versatility is big for USC, especially in a class that could feature as many as six linebacker signings for Clancy Pendergast’s linebacker-heavy defense.