USC football adds Alabama DT Ishmael Sopsher via transfer

USC football defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
USC football defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

USC football picked up a transfer from Alabama in DT Ishmael Sopsher

USC football’s defensive line just got 310 pounds bigger.

On Friday night, redshirt freshman Ishmael Sopsher declared his intention to transfer from Alabama to USC.

The 6-foot-4. 310-pound defensive lineman took to Twitter to thank God, his family and the coaches at USC for “believing in me and giving me a chance to be apart of their program.”

Ishmael Sopsher should strengthen USC football as a former elite recruit

Sopsher came out of high school in Amite, Louisiana in 2019 as one of the nation’s top prospects. He ranked No. 47 nationally and No. 5 among defensive tackles according to the 247Sports composite when he signed with Alabama over LSU.

Barton Simmons of 247Sports credited Sopsher with “natural strength” but warned that his size propelled him through high school and he would need to develop more skills to succeed at the college level.

Things didn’t work out at Alabama. He took a redshirt year in 2019 and came into the 2020 campaign with hopes of seeing the field. When playing time didn’t materialize, he tossed his name in the transfer portal.

It’ll be up to USC to help Sopsher reach his potential in cardinal and gold.

The question is when he will be eligible to suit up. The NCAA has already moved to allow immediate transfers in college basketball and the inevitability of a one-time free transfer allowance should make the wait for Sopsher minimal.

That’s big because USC is likely to lose Marlon Tuipulotu to the NFL after this season while Brandon Pili could also depart if he chooses.

Sopsher will compete with a youthful defensive line group including promising prospects who are already seeing playing time.

The class of 2021 will also bring defensive line reinforcements in the form of four-star Grace Brethren DT Jay Toia and three-star DE Colin Mobley from Maryland.

Next. How USC and UCLA Matchup