Conerly was originally expected to go to Michigan, but after all the Jim Harbaugh shenanigans with him interviewing for the Minnesota Vikings job and Offensive Coordinator Josh Gattis leaving for Miami, Conerly pushed his decision all the way back to Friday, April 8th.
There began to be more and more chatter about Conerly taking interest in USC, but it turned out to be all smoke and mirrors. USC has had trouble keeping offensive linemen away from Oregon in the past few years, as Mario Cristobal's expertise on offensive linemen had the few elite O-Linemen on the west coast wanting to play for him.
Cristobal's new program was one of the six schools Conerly chose from today (Miami), but Conerly still chose Oregon. It was a major blow to USC, who had less of an excuse to lose him to an unproven head coach who is now there in Dan Lanning. Not to mention he's a defensive guy.
USC Twitter was completely fooled by this decision.
Lincoln Riley has already made significant upgrades all up and down this roster, but if he truly wants to go all out with restoring USC football to greatness, he'll have to nail the trenches. Securing a signing of the No. 2 Offensive Tackle in the nation for the 2022 class would put him on the fast-track to doing so. Instead, SC let Conerly slip out of their hands.
Conerly is the No. 15 player in this year's class, and was going to have the chance to play for SC right away. At 6'5", 283 lb, the Rainier Beach (Seattle, WA) product is a rare breed out here on the west coast. They usually don't make linemen as good out here on the west, and therefore SC needs to have an 100% success rate at the position. Instead, UO punked the Trojans again in offensive line recruiting:
Conerly does need to bulk up, but he has the length to make a major impact on an offensive line. His athleticism is top tier, as playing on the defensive side of the ball in high school as well certainly helped him stay at the top athletically. Playing high school basketball helped out too. SC's had MANY major roster victories since Riley's been at the helm, but today's loss was crushing.
Many people in general were surprised by this. After all, this was almost not even a possibility:
But after all, college football is certainly different from where it was in the past, especially as far as recruiting goes. In this NIL world, the Ducks have a lot of leverage that other programs don't have. With Phil Knight always being the resource for UO that he is, NIL opportunities are going to be insane for Oregon recruits:
Conerly heads to a program that has never won any championships in their entire history despite having that resource. It's perplexing as to why he would choose Oregon over one of the most storied programs in college football history in USC who now has the head coach who runs the best offensive system in America, but everybody makes mistakes.