Football adds two five-star receivers to recruiting class

Lillian Zeng / Daily Trojan

USC football continued a trend of strong recruiting at the wide receiver position Saturday, earning verbal commits from five-star playmakers Bru McCoy and Kyle Ford. The two California products make it three straight years that the Trojans have reeled in a five-star receiver.

McCoy, a product of Mater Dei High School, won MaxPrep’s National Player of the Year Award and will join freshman Amon-Ra St. Brown, his high school teammate, in the Trojan receiving corps. He is 247 Sports’ seventh-ranked overall prospect, while Ford checks in at No. 29 in the composite rankings.

McCoy signed his letter of intent by the Early Signing Day deadline on Dec. 19. Ford, along with four-star wide receiver Puka Nacua and running back Jordan Wilmore, are hard commits to USC’s 2019 class. Including the hard commits and players who signed their letter of intent on Early Signing Day, USC has 22 incoming freshmen.

Four-star offensive tackle Jason Rodriguez is USC’s highest-rated signee of the early period and boasts a monstrous 6-foot-6, 326-pound frame. The Trojans also added three-star offensive guard Tilini Livai from Narbonne High School in Harbor City.

“We were really excited to get this young man and what he brings to the table with size,” head coach Clay Helton said of Rodriguez. “He’s one that could step in and help us with depth immediately.”

The leading signee early in the day was four-star cornerback Max Williams from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena. The second signee after three-star quarterback Kedon Slovis, Williams was not the only defensive back who signed with the Trojans. Three-star safety Briton Allen from IMG Academy in Florida will provide greater depth for a safety position that was depleted due to injuries in 2018, while three-star cornerback Trey Davis will come down from Washington to battle for playing time.

“One of the more special athletes, we thought, out of the city,” Helton said of Williams. “[He has] the ability to play corner or nickel and is very quick-twitch.”

The Trojans gained a pair of four-star tight ends with Jude Wolfe from St. John Bosco High School and Ethan Rae from Orange Lutheran High School. Both standing at least 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, the duo present the team with a greater number of red zone options moving forward. Helton said that he thought both players are among the best in the country at their position. The team plans on using them as in-line tight ends because of their athleticism and ball skills, Helton said.

USC also added to its strongest position: wide receiver. Four-star Drake London from Moorpark should become a familiar face on campus as a two-sport recruit for both the football and basketball teams. Munir McClain, a three-star receiver from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, will join his brother Abdul-Malik, who served as a freshman linebacker for the Trojans this season. Three-star running back Kenan Christon out of Madison High School in San Diego adds to a talented group of running backs.

Furthermore, the Trojans added three linebackers to an already solid group. The highlight of the trio is four-star Maninoa Tufono, who joins fellow Hawaiian freshman Palaie Gaoteote at inside linebacker. In addition, the Trojans secured three-star recruits Ralen Goforth from St. John Bosco and Stanley Ta’ufo’ou from Grace Brethren High School in Simi Valley.

Four-star Centennial defensive end Drake Jackson’s announcement that he would be committing to USC rather than Pac-12 South rival Arizona State marked a huge win for a Trojan defensive line that sought to replace departing senior linebacker Porter Gustin. Three-stars Nick Figueroa out of Riverside C.C. High School and Gino Quinones from St. Louis High School in Honolulu add depth at defensive end.

“[He has] one of the unique body types that is out there, kind of a hybrid outside linebacker and defensive end,” Helton said of Jackson. “He can stand up or put his hand on the ground, he’s a really unique pass rusher.”

Three-star defensive tackle Dejon Benton from Pittsburg High School rounds out the Trojans’ early class. USC’s 2019 class ranks 13th in the country following McCoy and Ford’s commitments, according to 247 Sports.