After committing to Washington State in November, three-star defensive tackle Dejon Benton out of Pittsburg High in Oakland, California announced he was headed to a Pac-12 school but not the one in Pullman, Washington.
Instead, Benton opted to sign with USC on Early Signing Day after the Trojans made a late offer to the 6-foot-2, 260 pound defensive tackle, according to 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman.
Welcome to the #TrojanFamily, @DejonBenton!— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) December 19, 2018
The defensive lineman will come from The Bay to LA to play for USC.#FightOn | #NSD pic.twitter.com/uG8TzqZaVV
The addition of Benton, who also received offers from Arizona, Fresno State and Colorado State, should help shore up the interior of USC’s defensive front. Benton is ranked as the No. 73 defensive lineman in the state and 1,168th nationally according to the 247Sports composite.
With USC adding four-star defensive end Drake Jackson earlier in the day, the duo of Benton and the former could become one that is quickly inserted into defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast’s system in the near future. The Trojans lost out on another four-star defensive tackle in Siaki Ika, who signed with LSU early Wednesday and then saw defensive end Stephon Wright sign with ASU.
It wasn’t long after that that USC went out and made an offer to Benton, who chose warm and sunny Southern California over the wet and rainy Northwest. In his final season at Pittsburg High, Benton recorded 43 total tackles and a pair of sacks.
While it might have been a last-minute decision by USC to offer Benton a scholarship, it could wind up as one that pays off for the Trojans in the long run.