It's unfortunately become rather commonplace at this point for USC football to miss out on a four/five-star offensive line recruit to a lesser program. It was first SC missing out on 2022 five-star OT Josh Conerly Jr. to a program with no championships ever in Oregon.
Then it was SC missing out on 2023 five-star OT Francis Mauigoa to a Miami program that has never won a Power Five conference in their entire history. Now, it's SC losing out on 2023 four-star OT Lucas Simmons committing to a Florida State program that has been under .500 every single year for four straight years.
Simmons was choosing between Florida State, Tennessee, Florida, and USC. Simmons is from Clearwater, Florida, so it's not the worst thing for SC fans to simply see him want to stay home. That being said, however, it begs the question of WHEN the Trojans will finally grab a commitment from a top tier O-Lineman in this class.
Lucas Simmons, the No. 13 tackle in the country, would have significantly improved USC football's recruiting class.
Lucas Simmons would be the fifth four-star recruit (all recruiting ratings and rankings in this article are as of 247Sports) of this recruiting class for USC football, and the seventh four/five-star recruit for the class. SC currently is just 16th in the national recruiting rankings largely because of their lack of beef on offense.
They only have one offensive tackle committed in Tobias Raymond, and while he's a fascinating project to keep an eye on, he's just a three-star guy. Of course, that could change, but he's currently the lowest-rated recruit in USC's class.
Only six teams ahead of SC in the rankings have a higher average recruit ranking than the Trojan program, so clearly USC is bringing in high-quality recruits elsewhere. It's certain position groups, however, that are lacking in the class like offensive line.
Simmons, the No. 109 player in the country, would have not only given SC a surely needed body, but also a high-quality recruit who would have a chance to play right away in 2023. At this point, many SC fans will only be believing in SC's ability to land top O-Linemen when they see it.
SC has a good offensive line coach in Josh Henson, but he's not proven over a long period of time at a program as prestigious as SC. It's a strong possibility that high-impact linemen will not take full interest in USC until they see things clicking during the year.