Clancy Pendergast’s USC defense has added another playmaker, with four-star cornerback Max Williams signing on Early Signing Day out of Serra High School in Gardena.
The Serra-to-USC pipeline is alive and well. Four-star defensive back Max Williams is the latest Trojan to hail from the Gardena powerhouse, signing with Clay Helton’s program Wednesday, as part of Early Signing Day.
He is now slated to be the 21st Serra Cavalier to letter at USC all-time, joining current players John Houston, CJ Pollard and Oluwole Betiku on the roster.
At 5-foot-8, 173 pounds, Williams is a true cornerback, where he ranks as the 17th-best in the 2019 class. Despite his senior season coming to an end in Week 1 with an ACL tear, he’s the 152nd overall recruit in the 247Sports Composite.
Williams originally committed to USC back in October with a video that only mentioned the Trojans as a finalist.
Where He Fits in 2019
The Trojans signed three cornerbacks in the 2018 class and had 11 on the roster going into the summer. But a lot has changed since then. Four seniors —Iman Marshall, Isaiah Langley, Jonathan Lockett and Ajene Harris— are gone. Chase Williams moved to safety during the season to help garner some sense of depth amid a flurry of casualties, while Third-Team All-American Jack Jones and Je’Quary Godfrey transferred away.
MORE SIGNING DAY: Tracking All of USC’s Class of 2019 Signings
With freshmen Greg Johnson and Olaijah Griffin having inconsistent starts to their careers, it leaves everything more wide open than ever, especially with new defensive backs coach Greg Burns taking over for Ronnie Bradford.
The longer things stay uncertain, the better it is for Williams. Although his timeframe to be cleared for fall camp after knee surgery will be tight. The safest bet might be slow playing his rehab with a redshirt like the aforementioned Godfrey in 2017, only with the ability of utilizing the new redshirt rules to give him up to a four-game trial run later in the season.
High School Highlights
Max Williams reminds us of…Nickell Robey
It’s been a while since USC signed a cornerback of Williams’ size, as Clancy Pendergast and Ronnie Bradford have preferred taller, lankier corners, like 6-foot-2 Isaac Taylor-Stuart and 6-foot-1 Chase Williams. But don’t for a second think Max’s height limits his game. Like former Trojan great Nickell Robey, his ball skills play big, while he’s also able to impact the game in other areas, including as a punt returner.