Olaijah Griffin to sign with USC over Tennessee on Signing Day 2018


USC struck gold on Signing Day 2018 as five-star cornerback Olaijah Griffin picked the Trojans over Tennessee, Alabama and Oregon.

The top-ranked recruit left on USC’s radar, Olaijah Griffin, gave the Trojans their biggest boost of Signing Day 2018, choosing to stay home for college.

Griffin made his announcement between USC, Tennessee, Alabama and Oregon live on ESPN2, picking the Trojans.

The Skinny

It may feel like a lifetime ago, but Griffin was actually committed to UCLA right up until the end of 2017, de-committing from the Bruins on Dec. 30. That’s when the whirlwind began, with Griffin officially visiting USC in the middle of January.

The Trojans battled with SEC challengers like Tennessee and Alabama, who each got visits from the Mission Viejo-product, but ultimately home field advantage won out.

Where He Fits in 2018

USC’s depth at cornerback felt dire during the 2017 season, but heading into 2018 it should definitely be stronger.

The Trojans have all three starters, Iman Marshall, Jack Jones and Ajene Harris, coming back while Jonathan Lockett is due to return from injury. On top of that, 2017 recruits Greg Johnson and Je’Quari Godfrey will get their first taste of action after sitting out because of injury as well. Plus Isaiah Langley did well filling in last year and USC has already signed four-star cornerback Chase Williams in the class.

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

That depth means it won’t be a foregone conclusion for Griffin to break into the lineup right away for USC. However, the performance of the cornerback group last season suggests there is definite room for a star like Griffin to force his way into the equation. The speed with which he earns the trust of the coaching staff is the only obstacle.

Regardless of what happens at cornerback, Griffin should also be a legitimate candidate to upgrade USC’s special teams unit as a return man.

High School Highlights

He Reminds Us Of…Adoree’ Jackson

Though not quite the explosive, all-world returner Adoree’ Jackson was at USC, Griffin’s ability on special teams gives him an X-factor the Trojans are desperately needing following the 2017 season. Couple it with his strong coverage skills and the 6-foot Griffin is a taller, albeit less-acclaimed version of Jackson. Or perhaps you’d say he’s somewhat akin to Jack Jones, if Jones was a more accomplished return man.