Linebacker Oluwole Betiku to transfer away from USC football

Former five-star linebacker Oluwole Betiku announced his decision to transfer away from USC football on Monday night.

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USC football is set to lose yet another highly-touted player due to transfer, though the decision of linebacker Oluwole Betiku to play elsewhere comes after years of injury woes and limited playing time.

Betiku announced his transfer decision on Monday night, just before kickoff of the national title game.

“I would like to thank coach Helton and the USC football program for the opportunity over the past 3 seasons. As for my future plans, I look to pursue my masters degree and further my football career at another institution. To my teammates, family and friends, thank you for your love and support,” Betiku tweeted.

Betiku came to USC as the highest-rated player in the class of 2016. He was No. 15 nationally in the 247Sports composite.

Unfortunately, the Serra product never really lived up to expectations. Though he was voted USC’s 2016 Defensive Service Team Player of the Year, he saw minimal live game action, participating in five contests without making a tackle.

In 2017, he played nine games, but wasn’t able to break into the lineup despite injuries ahead of him to Porter Gustin and Christian Rector.

More opportunities might have come for him as a junior but offseason hip surgery kept him out for the entirety of the season.

All told, Betiku logged two tackles, including a half tackle for loss, in 14 games as a Trojan.

Because he didn’t play in 2018, Betiku will be able to claim a redshirt year, giving him two seasons of eligibility remaining.

With the graduation of Gustin, Betiku’s chances for playing time would have once more been opened up going into the 2019 season. However, the Trojans do have Rector, Hunter Echols and Eli’Jah Winston returning at the Predator linebacker spot.

The silver lining for USC is the opening of another roster spot with plenty of scholarships still available to give away in the class of 2019.

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