USC continues to stockpile talent for the 2017 season with a pair of early commitments. Continuing the trend of versatile athletes on USC’s roster, four-star athlete Juwan Burgess made his early decision to commit to USC one month after his campus visit.
Starring at Plant High School in Tampa, Florida, the 6’0”, 185-lbs. receiver/defensive back/returner was heavily recruited by Florida powerhouses Florida State and Miami—yet he made the jump to the west coast to bolster an already promising 2017 recruiting class.
With Heisman hopefuls Juju Smith-Schuster and Adoree’ Jackson most likely turning pro after the upcoming season, both sides of the football would benefit from Burgess’ abilities.
Awareness and instincts show up on tape for Burgess. If he’s lining up outside the numbers as a receiver, he has the speed to get open and knows just when to go up and attack the ball at its highest point. As a defensive back, he knows where to be in coverage and has a nose for the ball—whether it be to lay a hard hit on the ball carrier to make a play on the ball.
With a bevy of injuries on the defensive line heading into the 2016 season, the Trojans have already began adding depth for following year with the early commitment from four-star defensive end Hunter Echols.
Coming out of Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, the 6’4”, 231-lbs. EDGE rusher chose to commit to the cardinal and gold two weeks after decommitting from rival UCLA.
Echols shows impressive explosion coming off the snap and high-level athleticism. The tape on the defensive end confirms an intriguing combination of speed and raw strength—something that has been lacking on the Trojan defensive line for quite some time.
In contrast to his pure athletic gifts, Echols has yet to define his pass rushing repertoire as he uses his speed and strength to bail him out of situations in which the lack of a skillset gets him in trouble with the offensive linemen. As it is with young linemen, his skillset will come with time and his commitment couldn’t have come a better time for the Trojans.