USC ALUMNI NEWS

Ex-four-star USC football signee at position of need transfers to new west coast team

Evan Desai
First year Nevada head football coach Ken Wilson runs the first practice of the spring in Reno on
First year Nevada head football coach Ken Wilson runs the first practice of the spring in Reno on / JASON BEAN/RGJ / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Ex-USC Football Linebacker Eli'jah Winston is off to play for Nevada Head Coach Ken Wilson after he entered the transfer portal earlier this offseason. Winston can also play Rush End in addition to a more traditional linebacker spot. It's intriguing versatility, as he was recruited as an inside backer.

Winston's USC career is very perplexing. A four-star recruit (all recruiting ratings and rankings in article are as of 247Sports), he had high hopes when he signed with the Trojans. In four years with the program, however, he collected just 10 tackles (one for loss) and that's it.

He did certainly have talent, though, as he was the No. 6 player in the entire state of Oregon coming out. Perhaps Nevada got themselves a find. Two bluebloods in USC and Notre Dame offered him in high school. It's absolutely not out of the realm of possibility that Winston makes a name for himself in NV.

Eli'jah Winston battled through injuries in his time with USC football.

Eli'jah Winston sprained his ankle just before the 2019 season and missed six games as a result for USC football. Then, he broke his ankle and missed all of the 2020 season the very next year. He'll have two more years of eligibility, and can play this year.

He didn't transfer until now, but he did hit the portal before the deadline that prevents first-time transfers from being able to play right away. Only one starter from last year's front seven at Nevada returns this season, so Winston will most certainly have a chance at legit playing time.

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The situation surrounding Winston has been disappointing, but it potentially could have gone differently if injuries hadn't hampered Winston during his USC tenure. Injuries were all too common a theme for USC in 2018 and 2019. Hopefully Winston will get a good look at meaningful playing time for his new squad.

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