After an underwhelming Early Signing Period marred by losing out on five-star Edge Matayo Uiagalelei to Oregon, many question USC Football's efforts on the NIL front. Lincoln Riley addressed that on Wednesday; making it clear that while he does believe that NIL is an important opportunity at any college football program, it just simply isn't priority No. 1 when it comes to recruiting tools for SC:
This is exactly how it is, and exactly how it should be. USC should of course remember how important NIL money and opportunities can be for many college football players, but the goal of this program should never be to turn into an NIL factory. Oregon pried a five-star recruit away from SC last year too in Josh Conerly due to their NIL collective. How'd that work out for them?
They disappointed yet again this year with a 9-3 season that included a hilarious 46-point loss and a hilarious 21-point choke to their in-state rival in the Oregon State Beavers. USC went 11-1 with a trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game and Top 10 final CFP Top 25 ranking. The two programs are on different levels.
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Former USC Football Linebacker Willie McGinest ended up releasing a statement regarding his recent arrest for a December 9th incident at Delilah nightclub where he was caught on camera beating another man with his fist, and eventually a bottle. He got hit with a felony charge for assault with a deadly weapon, and posted $30,000 bail and was released:
McGinest seems to take responsibility for what he did, and admit that he did not handle it in the best way possible. After all, McGinest was the one who turned himself in early on Monday morning. McGinest is suspended from being a broadcaster on NFL Network for now.
Five-star Safety Peyton Bowen has flipped his commitment from USC Football's conference opponent Oregon to Oklahoma, in a shocking development. This is shocking because he had flipped from Notre Dame to Oregon just one day prior to when he did this. He flipped to Oregon on Wednesday, just to flip to OU on Thursday.
This matters because now, SC is well within striking distance on the Sooners to end up passing them for the first-ranked recruiting class in the Pac-12. UO now has the No. 10 recruiting class in the country, just one spot ahead of SC's No. 11-ranked class. SC now has over a month to improve slightly and they could finish with a Top 10 class and the best in the conference.