Lincoln Riley knows Southern California high school football recruiting. The Oklahoma coach is set to become USC’s coach and already has made inroads in Southland recruiting. It would be no surprise if high school prospects committed to Oklahoma suddenly become USC recruits.
Most notable is Santa Ana Mater Dei running back Raleek Brown, who considered USC before committing to Oklahoma. He’s having a terrific senior season for the Southern Section Division 1 champions and tweeted, “Staying home?” Sunday as news broke about Riley’s move to USC.
Then there’s the trio of Los Alamitos class of 2023 prospects committed to Oklahoma led by the best junior quarterback in the state, Malachi Nelson. If Riley is able to convince Nelson to change destinations, then surely Los Alamitos receivers Makai Lemon and DeAndre Moore would join him. Nelson took a trip to Oklahoma last weekend.
Los Alamitos coach Ray Fenton said of Riley’s recruiting prowess, “If you can get three Southern California kids to come to Norman, Ok., then you’re a legitimate recruiter.”
He said Riley visited a Los Alamitos practice three weeks ago and left a positive impression.
“He’s down to earth,” Fenton said. “Relatable. He just showed up with no entourage and you could talk to him about anything. I was extremely impressed.”
Fenton said he has been a USC fan since 1971. “I think it’s great for Southern California football,” he said.
USC has seen a steady group of senior prospects decommit because of its program uncertainty, but Riley’s hiring will certainly reinvigorate the Trojans’ recruiting hopes and Riley can always turn to the transfer portal to bring in more talent.