Michael Ezeike to sign with UCLA over USC on Signing Day 2018
Four-star receiver-tight end Michael Ezeike announced he will sign with UCLA on Signing Day 2018, picking the Bruins over USC and Oregon.
USC wanted to add to their embarrassment of riches at receiver and tight end, pursuing four-star prospect Michael Ezeike through to Signing Day, but struck out as the receiver picked UCLA.
Coming out of Colony High School in Ontario, Ezeike is the first miss of the day for the Trojans, who started the day strong by getting signatures from Solomon Tuliaupupu, Olaijah Griffin and Devon Williams.
It’s that last commit which may have factored into Ezeike’s decision to go with UCLA despite momentum for USC going into Signing Day.
Ezeike originally committed to Oregon in November, but the unrest around Willie Taggart’s departure for Florida State prompted him to re-open his recruitment.
USC was able to get into the mix late, bringing him in for an official visit on the final weekend of the recruiting period. The visit didn’t do the trick however, as UCLA won the day.
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At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Ezeike is a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. Though he played primarily receiver in high school, he ranks No. 13 among tight ends for 2018. He is also No. 37 in California and No. 260 nationally, in the 247Sports composite.
The Trojans could have further bolstered an wide receiver corps that is already bursting at the seams with Ezeike’s signature, but the crowd at the position is also the reason USC should be able to cope without him.
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With Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman returning to start at USC’s outside receiver positions, opportunities would have been limited for a pass catcher like Ezeike, especially with similarly-sized receivers like Joseph Lewis and Randall Grimes vying for reps.
Meanwhile, at tight end, USC lacks the same level of depth, but should still feel secure having brought in two in the 2017 recruiting cycle.