USC Football back in mix for No. 1 LB in country after de-commitment

Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans
Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football is now back in the mix for Anthony Hill, who is the No. 1 Linebacker recruit in all of the 2023 recruiting class. Hill has just de-committed from Texas A&M on Monday after they started their season 3-6.

It's not even just that they started 3-6, but that they started 3-6 in a season where they were supposed to contend for a national title. They just signed what is considered to be the greatest recruiting class in college football history in 2022.

Unsurprisingly, their recruiting has taken a nosedive since then. They have just the 23rd class in the country for this year after Hill de-committed (all recruiting rankings and ratings in article are as of 247Sports). Hill was massive for them, as the five-star is the No. 3 player in the entire state of Texas.

And they're going to have a tough time getting him to come back, when taking a look at the rest of what his top six was. His top six were Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama, Miami, Oklahoma, and USC. Unfortunately for the Aggies, every single one of those teams is having a better year than them.

Fortunately for USC Football, the Trojans are having a better year than all of the other five programs that were in Anthony Hill's top six.

When Anthony Hill de-committed from Texas A&M, USC Football was ranked as the No. 9 team in the country. The only other team in that previous top six that was ranked ahead of USC was Alabama, who is now ranked below them in the CFP rankings. USC is at No. 8 and Alabama is at No. 9. SC is 8-1, and Bama is 7-2.

This is all of course important because the No. 1 recruiter and/or recruiting tool is winning. Heck, Hill very well may not de-commit from A&M if they hadn't been having such a terrible year. If SC can land this commitment, it would mean a ton to the Trojan defense. They've been having a bad season, and were ranked 60th in the nation in points per game allowed (25.22) at the time of Hill's de-commitment.

They particularly have struggled with linebacker depth, as their defense looked especially bad in the two games when two of SC's three primary rotational linebackers were out (Eric Gentry and Ralen Goforth). Those games were weeks 9 and 10. Hill, being the No. 17 player in all of America for this 2023 class, would help solve this very clear problem that the Trojans have.

That 6-2, 225 pound size has a ton of potential. Here's what Gabe Brooks, Midlands Region Recruiting Analyst for 247Sports had to say about Hill:

"Athletic, physical, violent off-ball linebacker who occasionally steps to the line of scrimmage," said Brooks. "Capable of consistent sideline-to-sideline pursuit with proven blitzing ability. Tone-setter for an FBS-loaded Texas 5A D-I state championship defense as only a sophomore."

For Brooks to have this type of praise for Hill before these last two seasons even started means everything. He also said that Brooks has "adequate in-space athleticism in coverage," which is sorely needed for SC. Considering how much trouble they had defending Dalton Kincaid, it's quite evident that USC needs somebody to cover tight ends.

Look--with all the needs that SC has on the defensive side of the ball, they sure can use someone with versatility. That's what Hill would bring to USC, as Brooks describes him as one who "shows promising pass-rush instincts despite primary role being off-ball." Being able to perform in roles that aren't even his primary role makes him so valuable.

Next. Predictions for rest of USC Football season. dark

There's no word on if Hill actually will sign with USC, and 100% of his 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions went to Texas soon after his de-commitment. If they end up having a lousy season, and SC keeps playing at this rate, things could change. If they do, it's time for Lincoln Riley and Alex Grinch to seal the deal.