USC Signing Day 2018 is upon us, with Clay Helton’s Trojans looking to build upon their December haul in search of another Top 10 recruiting class.
If this USC Signing Day feels different, it should. It’s the second installment of a two-parter, following an early signing period in December that saw the Trojans ink 10 new players, including five-star linebacker Palaie Gaoteote and four-star center Justin Dedich.
Now, Clay Helton and his staff aim to close with a bang. At cornerback, five-star Olaijah Griffin and four-star Isaac Taylor-Stuart could be the big Southern California cherries on top of a position of emphasis.
The decision of Mater Dei’s Solomon Tuliaupupu looms large at linebacker, while Monarch teammates J.T. Daniels and Amon-Ra St. Brown have already been committed and are set to sign on the dotted line.
Utah-native Penei Sewell is the lone offensive line recruit the Trojans are still pursuing, and four-star Devon Williams out of Lancaster could be yet another blue-chip receiver for offensive coordinator Tee Martin to deploy.
All told, USC is in the mix for six different recruits, ranging from the nation’s 28th-ranked prospect —the aforementioned Griffin— to four-star receiver-tight end hybrid Michael Ezeike, who’s at No. 260.
Can they seal the deal and close on what could be a pivotal class for the newly extended and defending Pac-12 champion Helton?
4:00 p.m.: Clay Helton has wrapped up his Signing Day press conference and USC has officially announced the eight additions to the 2018 recruiting class.
The Trojans signed four previously-committed recruits: quarterback JT Daniels, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, defensive tackle Trevor Trout and linebacker Eli’Jah Winston.
On top of that, USC added four new commits: cornerback Olaijah Griffin, cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart, linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu and wide receiver Devon Williams.
USC’s 2018 class now totals 18 players.
When asked about the scholarship juggling the Trojans will need to do to fit all of those new signees, Helton assured reporters that USC has the space for them.
3:15 p.m.: The Trojans aren’t done just yet. John Jackson III, a three-star wide receiver out of Serra, is the latest to commit to USC. If that name sounds familiar, it should. He’s the son of USC legend John Jackson Jr. Read more>>
2:35 p.m.: USC’s Signing Day ends with a bang! Isaac Taylor-Stuart picks the Trojans, giving Clay Helton and company six signees in the Top 40 of the 247Sports composite. Read more>>
2:22 p.m.: Of course, Taylor-Stuart may not be the last recruit in play for the Trojans. The OC Register reports that UCLA commit Chris Murray, a four-star guard, did not sign an LOI for the Bruins during the Mater Dei signing ceremony. It just so happens, three of his teammates are heading to USC…
2:15 p.m.: And then there was one. The final announcement decision involving USC will be four-star cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart. And fans won’t have to wait too long for that.
2:12 p.m.: Sewell opts to be a Duck, picking Oregon over USC, Alabama and Utah. Read more>>
1:45 p.m.: Next up, Penei Sewell will make his commitment announcement between USC, Oregon and Alabama. This one may not go the Trojans way either…
1:40 p.m.: Swing and a miss. USC suffers their first recruiting defeat of Signing Day, losing out on Ezeike to UCLA. Read more>>
1:10 p.m.: The wait is still on to hear from Ezeike, Sewell and Taylor-Stuart this afternoon. In the meantime, USC now sits sixth in the 247Sports composite team rankings. Can the Trojans overtake No. 5 Clemson for a Top 5 finish? We’ll see how the dominoes fall.
11:15 a.m.: With Williams’ signature settled, there’s a little bit of a break before the next scheduled commitment. Four-star receiver-tight end Michael Ezeike won’t make his decision until 1:30 p.m. Lunch break?
11:10 a.m.: And another! Four-star wide receiver Devon Williams commits to sign with USC live on ESPN2. That makes the Trojans three-for-three on the day so far. Read more>>
10:45 a.m.: USC started the day outside of the Top 10 of team recruiting rankings, but that was always bound to change. Not only are the Trojans climbing with Tuliaupupu and Griffin added, but they’re also making up for lack of quantity with some major quality.
10:40 a.m.: Griffin’s commitment was unique, in that it involved a couple of rap legends. His father, Warren G of Regulators fame, and Snoop Dogg were both on hand.
10:35 a.m.: Two for two! USC lands another top prospect as five-star cornerback Olaijah Griffin signs with the Trojans. Read more>>
10:15 a.m.: Another preferred walk-on has committed to the Trojans. Jordan McMillan, a safety from Loyola, will live out his dream by joining USC.
9:45 a.m.: Tuliaupupu is just the first of USC’s major targets to announce today. Next up: five-star cornerback Olaijah Griffin.
9:40 a.m.: USC seals the deal with Solomon Tuliaupupu, completing the Mater Dei trifecta by landing another stud linebacker. Read more>>
9:33 a.m.: While we wait for Tuliaupupu, another tweet has come through from Eric Ziskin signalling a 17th LOI is in.
That makes it three unannounced signees in the bag.
9:25 a.m.: Another USC commit just snuck in before Tuliaupupu’s announcement. The Trojans have added a pledge from two-star receiver Zach Wilson, who will join up from Scottsdale, AZ likely as a preferred walk-on.
9:15 a.m.: Buckle up Trojan fans. The calm before the storm is about to end with Tuliaupupu’s Signing Day decision on ESPN2 coming up in a few minutes. From there it’ll be a steady cascade of announcements from major USC targets. Check out the Big Board for more.
8:05 a.m.: With Winston’s LOI confirmed, any more signees USC adds today will be new commits. Remember, the Trojans apparently have two unannounced letters of intent already in and there are six decisions coming down the line, starting with Solomon Tuliaupupu at 9:30 a.m.
8:00 a.m.: Eli’Jah Winston, the fourth and final pre-Signing Day commit for USC, has officially signed. The Trojans flipped the four-star linebacker from Oregon earlier this week. Read more>>
7:40 a.m.: The LOIs now number 16, meaning USC has two signatures from two as-of-yet announced commits.
The first big announcement of the day is still a ways off with Solomon Tuliaupupu making his choice on ESPN2 at 9:30 a.m. so this could be an interesting wait.
7:30 a.m.: Amon-Ra St. Brown’s LOI is officially in. The five-star receiver will hook back up with high school QB JT Daniels in cardinal and gold. Read more>>
7:22 a.m.: USC has now definitely (unofficially) received a letter of intent from an unannounced recruit, per Ziskin’s latest tweet with 15 victory signs.
The Trojans have six upcoming announcements on the docket and it could be any one of those players. However, it’s worth pointing out, USC has officially announced one Mater Dei player in Daniels. Amon-Ra St. Brown is likely to follow soon. Could a third Monarch have joined in the signing party?
7:18 a.m: JT Daniels is officially announced by USC as a signee for the 2018 class. Read more>>
7:12 a.m.: The LOIs are apparently rolling in now. Ziskin tweets 14 victory signs to apparently indicate 14 signees. That could mean all four current USC commits have put pen to paper: Trout, Daniels, St. Brown and newest addition Eli’Jah Winston.
Or it could mean USC has a signature from someone who hasn’t officially announced yet.
7:10 a.m.: Make that TWO new LOIs. Could it be the duo from Mater Dei, JT Daniels and Amon-Ra St. Brown, sending them in together?
7:05 a.m.: It looks like another LOI is in. The question is: Who?
It took USC just an hour to confirm Trout’s LOI. They’re now on the clock for another.
6:10 a.m: USC seems to have picked up the pace in announcing LOIs. Trout is now officially a Trojan.
5:40 a.m.: Trout’s LOI is confirmed by Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com. He’s the first to sign on Signing Day and the 11th signee for 2018. Read more >>
5:30 a.m.: Need more reason to believe it’s Trout?
5:20 a.m.: The cryptic tweets are back! If you were following along during the Early Signing Period in December, you know that USC’s Director of Recruiting and Player Personnel Eric Ziskin sent out tweets with what appeared to be a “Fight On” emoji for each letter of intent the Trojans received.
Well, a tweet with 11 victory signs just went out:
Seeing as it’s still very early morning on the west coast, the best guess for whose LOI is in has got to be defensive tackle Trevor Trout, out of Saint Louis, MO. But that’s just a guess reading the tweet leaves.
12:00 a.m.: It’s almost go time. The table is set. The fax machine is plugged in. Recruits are about to become Trojans, starting at 4:00 a.m. Pacific. Join us for the ride, eh? We’ll be updating this podcast throughout the day, following all of the big-time announcements and so much more.
The Big Board:
5-star CB Olaijah Griffin
- Rank: 28th in 247Sports Composite
- Size: 6-foot, 170 lbs.
- Location: Mission Viejo, CA
- Status: SIGNED
- Choices: USC,
Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee
4-star CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart
- Rank: 32nd in 247Sports Composite
- Size: 6-foot-2, 187 lbs.
- Location: San Diego, CA
- Status: SIGNED
- Choices: USC,
4-star WR Devon Williams
- Rank: 40th in 247Sports Composite
- Size: 6-foot-4, 200 lbs.
- Location: Lancaster, CA
- Status: SIGNED
- Choices: USC,
4-star OG Penei Sewell
- Rank: 57th in 247Sports Composite
- Size: 6-foot-5, 349 lbs.
- Location: St. George, UT
- Status: SIGNED with Oregon
USC, Oregon, Alabama
4-star LB Solomon Tuliaupupu
- Rank: 86th in 247Sports Composite
- Size: 6-foot-2, 220 lbs.
- Location: Santa Ana, CA
- Status: SIGNED
- Choices: USC,
UCLA, Notre Dame
4-star WR/TE Michael Ezeike
- Rank: 260th in 247Sports Composite
- Size: 6-foot-5, 220 lbs.
- Location: Ontario, CA
- Status: SIGNED with UCLA
USC, UCLA, Oregon