While we’re busy talking about rivalries and the fact that your USC Trojans own the UCLA Bruins, the current-day Trojans were off building for the future, and staying atop the Pac-12 recruiting rankings in the process.
Head coach Clay Helton and Co. received a verbal commitment from four-star athlete Jaylin Smith, the nation’s 15th-ranked athlete in the class of 2021, according to 247Sports.
Trials and tribulations ❤️✌ All love !! IM COMMITED . pic.twitter.com/8yw7wfeVpp— Jaylin Smith (@jayliinn_1k) July 1, 2020
Smith did tell the recruiting outlet 247Sports that he will intend to visit the rest of the campuses that were in his top five but does feel good at USC.
“I want to get out to the South and see Alabama and Clemson and then out West, I want to see Washington and Oregon. I want to visit Texas too and of course I’ll be up at SC all the time and will try and go to as many of their games as I can. I think it will be fun to see some other places to have something to compare to SC but I feel really good about my commitment and like I said, SC is home for me.”
Smith also said that he feels very comfortable with USC, more specifically coach Donte Williams.
“It was time, I was ready,” Smith said. “I feel really good about USC and my relationships that I have with the coaching staff. I’m close with Donte Williams, he was my lead recruiter and someone I talk with all the time.
“I like Clay Helton a lot too and the whole staff was always really welcoming to me. It felt like home there and I had a strong comfort level every time I was on campus. I really haven’t been anywhere else but USC definitely felt like home and it feels really good to be a Trojan.”
As to where he’ll slot in on the Trojans, he also alluded to that as well. He stands at 5’11, 180 pounds from Bishop Alemany High School (home of fellow Trojan commit Saia Mapakaitolo). He plays all over the defense but seems to fit in with the cornerback group at USC.
“Donte likes me as a corner,” Smith said. “I’ll be a nickel but will move around and play out wide too. He said they really like my versatility and ability to make plays no matter where I line up.
“I’m comfortable at corner, even though I play more safety at Alemany. I’ll play anywhere they want me but they have a need at that nickel position and I think I’ll be able to come in and compete for early playing time there and that was another big plus.”
Another point of note with Smith’s commitment, four-star QB Miller Moss committed to USC before he announced he was playing at Mater Dei, and was with Alemany during that time. Also, commit Niuafe Tuihalamaka for the class of 2022 also hails from Alemany. Those nearby may want to get out to some Bishop Alemany games this fall, that is of course if you can.
So, as for Smith, 247Sports projects him as a Day 3 draft pick at this time and compares him to New England Patriots DB Brock Vereen.
Undersized safety who has incredible instincts, toughness and is always around the ball. Has a corner frame and does cover well but is more comfortable playing safety where he see the field and react. Isn’t afraid to come up in run support and is a very sure tackler. Can break down and make plays in space and always plays hard with a lot of energy and emotion. Projects as a impact upper tier Power 5 starter and future mid round NFL draft pick.
He had at least 14 scholarship offers and a final six of Texas, Alabama, Clemson, Washington, Oregon and USC.
Welcome to the Family, Jaylin! Fight On!