Recently, Sports Illustrated dropped their SI99 rankings, which mark the top 99 high school senior prospects in the country.
USC football had a few on that list, but it was a potentially future Trojan that caught my eye in particular. Let's face it: We all want giant O-Lineman in the trenches with this team. If we can protect the QB and run the ball, we have the pass-catching weapons to make this offense tick.
Josh Conerly, Offensive Tackle from Rainier Beach in Seattle is someone who SC is in the running for. When I saw him ranked at No. 43, it reminded me that our class would be drastically improved if we could reel him in. And while we're not the favorites, we've made a good impression on him so far.
Lincoln Riley and Josh Henson have left a great impression on USC target and No. 1 national OT recruit Josh Conerly (247).
USC Head Coach Riley and USC Offensive Coordinator Henson took an in-home visit to Josh Conerly, and Conerly has grown fond of these two.
""It was pretty good, just finally getting to meet Coach Riley in person, especially knowing him for like two, three years now. So it was great to [meet] him, great guy. And it was great meeting Coach Henson as well. They're both great dudes -- they're going to do great things for that offense""- Josh Conerly, 2022 Five-Star OT recruit
That quote is from Trojansports.com, as they spoke with him during practice the week of the Polynesian Bowl. Seems like the visit was a positive.
And Conerly has been very complimentary of Riley in the past:
And that interest may be a tick higher than you think. According to On3's RPM (Recruiting Prediction Machine), there is just one school with a higher chance of landing Conerly than SC:
We're just a tad over 5% less than Michigan for the long 6'5," 283-pound prospect. He's an athletic kid, also playing on defense in high school.
He played basketball in high school as well, and you can tell. He's very quick with his feet, and while he may not have the bulk right now to be able to bully EVERYONE at this level, he certainly looked great against the top competition during All-American Bowl week. The No. 15 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite, his technique is about as strong as it gets:
SC needs to make it happen while they have the chance. Capitalize on all the momentum they've built with a new elite HC, a new elite OL Coach/OC with a strong resume of O-Lineman success, and a slew of high-impact transfers making the move here.
There's only so much more they can do right now, but USC fans will have their fingers crossed on landing the coveted giant in the trenches. Regardless, SC will be much better than opposing fans think they will be on the line, upgrading to an elite OL coach this offseason while returning four starters from last year's line that was the highest graded in the country (PFF). Already adding that fifth starter through the transfer portal in Bobby Haskins, Conerly would AT LEAST be a great depth option for the line this season, and a future star.