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USC football recruiting: What does Dylan Lopez' decommitment mean for the Trojans?

By Alicia de Artola
Apr 2, 2021, 10:26 AM PDT
USC football offensive line.
USC football offensive line. | Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Three-star offensive lineman Dylan Lopez decommitted from the USC football recruiting class of 2022 on Friday.

USC football recruiting started the week with a bit of unfortunate news. Three-star center Dylan Lopez has decommitted from the Trojans' class of 2022.

In a tweet on Friday morning, Lopez first thanked USC's coaches and staff for giving him an opportunity.

"After talks with my family and coaches, I think it's best that I de-commit from the University of Souther California and open my recruitment back up 100%," Lopez wrote. "I would like to explore all options and reconsider what's the best for me as a student-athlete."

Is USC football hurt by losing Dylan Lopez?

There are two ways to look at Lopez' decommitment.

The first is that, without him, USC has zero offensive line commitments for the class of 2022. That's a problem.

However, the second should ease concerns a bit. Lopez wasn't an elite offensive line prospect. He did rank No. 2 among centers in the class, but he currently sits No. 695 nationally. He committed to former USC offensive line coach Tim Drevno, whose recruiting style seemed to put a lot of faith on under-the-radar prospects.

The Trojans can do better. Hopefully, that's what new offensive line coach Clay McGuire is aiming to do. Ideally, he'll be putting all his emphasis on recruits in a higher talent bracket who also fit the Air Raid system.

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USC has recently made the favorites list for Top 55 offensive guards Devon Campbell and Earnest Greene. Four-star tackles like Josh Conerly Jr. and Addison Nichols are also considering the Trojans, among others.

McGuire will have an uphill battle pulling in those kinds of names, but that's where he needs to be aiming. He can use the strength of the USC brand to upgrade the line. This isn't Texas State. After all, the Trojans have produced two straight first-round offensive linemen in Austin Jackson and Alijah Vera-Tucker.

The key is to land bigger fish. Do that, and no one will remember losing Lopez. Fail to do that, and it'll be clear that McGuire and company dropped the ball.

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