2 reasons why Elijah Paige's commitment was so vital for USC Football

Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans
Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

Four-star 2023 OT Elijah Paige's commitment to USC Football meant particularly more to this program than even many of the other four-star commitments they've received this 2023 recruiting cycle. There are many reasons why. For one, it catapulted USC back to the No. 1 recruiting class ranking in the Pac-12 (No. 13 in the country).

There are some other deeper reasons as to why the commitment meant so much to USC football, though. The two biggest ones not only celebrate the commitment that SC gained, but also foreshadow encouraging events to potentially come up in the future.

For instance, Paige plays at Pinnacle High School. In case anyone reading this lives under a rock, that's the same school an incredible five-star tight end that's expected to go to USC plays at. That would be Duce Robinson. Robinson is the No. 1 player in the country, and the No. 20 overall player in the entire country for this class.

All four of the 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions for Robinson that are in are going USC's way for the tight end. They were USC's way before Paige's commitment even happened, and of course Paige's commitment being announced to USC could potentially mean that he'll have the inside track to recruiting Robinson to come play with him himself.

In fact, USC Football OT commit Elijah Paige even admitted that he'll be recruiting Robinson.

“I will definitely be recruiting Duce (Robinson),” USC Football's OT commit Elijah Paige said. "We need him in this class. We are going to do great things and I’d love for him to contribute and be a part of that. I am definitely excited to recruit him.”

And USC fans are excited to hear that he's looking to recruit him. Tight End is a position of need for the Trojans moving forward. Also, SC's going to want to get into the top 10 when it comes to the national recruiting rankings. Picking up their third five-star would put them on that right track to doing so.

But, interestingly, this commitment from Paige also makes a statement. That's the second deeper reason as to why this commitment is so particularly important to the program.

USC hasn't landed a four or five-star offensive line commitment (excluding Micah Banuelos who was not listed as a four-star through 247Sports' composite ratings) since the 2020 recruiting cycle when they found USC starting Right Tackle Jonah Monheim.

SC had put up top 7 recruiting classes these past two years (all recruiting ratings and rankings in article are as of 247Sports), but they had been getting beat out for the few top linemen out here on the west coast. They needed to prove that they could land the big guys in the trenches under Lincoln Riley, because they certainly couldn't in the past few years before he got to L.A.

Game-by-game predictions for USC in 2022. dark. Next

To be able to finally get the west coast recruit at the specific position of need was important momentum for SC on the recruiting trail, and to be able to get him from a state other than California shows that they don't even need to be in SC's backyard for SC to secure the commitment.