Defensive End Jacob Lichtenstein has submitted his letter of intent to the USC Trojans today officially making him a Trojan and improving upon a defensive front that could use more depth. Lichtenstein is rated as a 3-Star player (out of 5) and 247 sports ranks him as the 20th best player in the country at the position. Lichtenstein had offers from about 40 different schools including the Alabama Crimson Tide, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Stanford Cardinal, Colorado Buffaloes and plenty of others. The 6’ 5”, 248 pound prospect is from Cypress Bay High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Headed into last season The defensive line for the Trojans was considered by many to be the weak point of defense. A situation made even worse when defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow went down with an injury. The unit was bailed out by the transfer of Stevie Tu'ikolovatu who played a major role on defense in 2016 for the Trojans but the defensive front was still an area of concern for USC.
In both 2016 and 2017 Clay Helton and the staff aggressively pursued elite players along the defensive front and it is slowly but surely beginning to pay off. Lichtenstein joins a USC roster that has a handful of young but talented defensive ends including Porter Gustin, Matt Bayle, Christian Rector, Connor Murphy, Oluwole Betiku jr. Lichtenstein is also one of potentially several defensive ends that will join USC in the 2017 recruiting class.
“In addition to his physical attributes, Lichtenstein also has great play recognition that is particularly effective when diagnosing zone read plays. As a defensive end, his decision to either set the edge or pursue the running back usually determines the outcome of the play. Lichtenstein does a fantastic job of identifying who is carrying the football [. . .] Lichtenstein’s combination of physical and mental attributes give him a very solid base that should see him become a fantastic run defender for the Trojans.”