USC football robs other Pac-12 favorite of key defensive piece at position of need

Alex Grinch, USC Football, USC Trojans

USC football has stolen Utah true freshman LB Carson Tabaracci in the transfer portal. Tabaracci played with Utah in the spring, but realized that USC is the better program for him to be with. For Tabaracci, it's not only USC's reputation that sold him, but also the upswing it's on as a program right now:

He certainly is right that SC is heading in the right direction. Since going 4-8 last season, the Trojans have brought in a top five head coach in America in Lincoln Riley, and Riley has since added 20 transfers.

Two of them are five-star transfers (QB Caleb Williams and WR Jordan Addison), and five of them have been four-star transfers (WR Mario Williams, RB Travis Dye, LB Eric Gentry, DB Latrell McCutchin, and WR Brenden Rice). Tabaracci is a three-star transfer, which SC now has 10 of.

They have the No. 1 transfer class in the nation by a landslide. Tabaracci is not undersized at 6-2, 225 pounds out of Park City High School in Park City, Utah. An athletic kid, he was listed as a position-less athlete coming out of high school. He was the No. 9 player in the entire state of Utah.

USC football poaching Carson Tabaracci is important because they wanted him in high school.

Carson Tabaracci had taken an official visit to the USC football program back in October. His position-less ability could see him playing on the offensive side of the ball too. After all, he ran for 728 yards and ten touchdowns at Park City last year a couple of seasons ago when he was a junior.

Check out what Steve Bartle from UteZone had to say about Tabaracci, in his analysis of the multi-positional player that he did last season:

"He is probably best described as a powerful athlete, Tabaracci changes directions quite well and appears nimble enough in tight quarters to consistently make guys miss. He has good contact balance where he will absorb hits, break tackles, and keep on moving. He will run through contact and fights for a lot of yards as well. He is very capable in the passing game as a receiver. He was a heavy contributor this past season and consistently showed the ability to make catches and then make something out of nothing. On the other side of the ball, Tabaracci is an impressive linebacker with a good nose for the ball. He obviously possesses the requisite size for the position, as well as the athletic traits to be effective patrolling the middle of the field. He has good feel in coverage and shows the ability to effectively defend in space. Tabaracci is a load and packs a punch as a tackler and has some good pop in the pads. Willing to throw his weight around and be equally as physical with ball carriers and linemen."

Steve Bartle, UteZone

It sounds like Tabaracci has what Utah had last year that SC didn't: Physicality and a mental edge that drove physicality. Also excelling in coverage, he seems to bring the skillset SC should be excited about down to L.A.

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While much of the focus around USC heading into this year is on the offense--the program hasn't ignored any defensive position in the transfer portal this offseason.