If you regularly read Trojans Wire, first of all: Thank you. Second, if you read our site regularly, you would know that we mentioned the distinct possibility that Lincoln Riley and USC can fatten up on a likely parade of Texas A&M transfers.
Texas A&M lost to Florida this past weekend to fall to 3-6. The Aggies are unlikely to make a bowl game, which means that freshmen on the team (and other classes as well) won’t have to attend bowl practice sessions in December. This certainly makes it easier for them to transfer out of the program sooner rather than later.
Now, however, we have a non-transfer situation in recruiting. A high-profile linebacker just decommitted from Texas A&M.
We’ll fill you in on the details:
Anthony Hill is the No. 1-ranked linebacker in the country, per 247Sports. Prospects don’t come more coveted or valued than that. He decommitted from Texas A&M in what rates as a major recruiting development.
Hill took an official visit to USC over the summer. That seems like a pretty big deal.
The Longhorns were involved in Hill’s recruitment before he initially chose Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M.
Miami was also involved in Hill’s recruitment before he initially decommitted from A&M.
Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide were previously involved in Hill’s recruitment.
Lincoln Riley’s successor at Oklahoma pursued Hill on the recruiting trail. USC is battling some high-end programs in the chase for the five-star linebacker.
The recruitment of Anthony Hill comes while Texas A&M languishes. One can certainly expect more recruits to decommit from A&M, and for current freshmen to also bail on Jimbo Fisher.
THE USC CONTEXT
The Trojans have hardly any healthy linebackers right now. They sorely lack depth at the position. Eric Gentry is injured. Getting a five-star linebacker for the future is exactly what they need, in addition to defensive line help.
Given how much better Riley has been as a first-year head coach compared to Venables at Oklahoma and Cristobal at Miami, one would think USC — even if it doesn’t get Hill in particular — stands a good chance of attracting a lot of recruits who haven’t made their minds up yet. One also has to think USC will get some really good transfers and will be in position to make a big haul in the transfer portal.
TEXAS A&M RECRUITING
The Aggies had the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation for the 2022 cycle. It’s reasonable to think this NIL-fueled machine will lose steam.
NO. 1 RECRUITING CLASS
The fact that A&M had the No. 1 recruiting class in 2022 makes it notable that a lot of those freshmen could transfer this season. Those will be prime transfer portal targets for Riley and USC.
With Alex Grinch badly needing an infusion of talent for 2023, grabbing Hill — if USC can pull it off — might be a job-saving move for Grinch at USC.
We’re not referring to his job status for 2023 — he will get next year regardless of how the rest of the 2022 season unfolds — but to 2024.
Grinch can’t have a 2023 season which is remotely similar to 2022. If that happens, he probably won’t be around for 2024.
This Anthony Hill recruitment could matter a lot for Grinch specifically.
THE BIG PICTURE
Everyone at USC, and everyone who follows USC, knew at the start of the season that the Trojans did not have the personnel needed to contend with the very best teams (offenses) in college football. Hill is precisely the kind of pickup USC needs in order to build its defense back to the Pete Carroll-era standard.
MUCH TO THINK ABOUT
The nation's top LB, five-star Anthony Hill Jr. has de-committed from Texas A&M.
Hill took an official visit to #USC over the summer and the Trojans were one of the final schools Hill was considering (along with Texas, Alabama, Miami and Oklahoma) when he committed to TAMU.
— Shotgun Spratling (@ShotgunSpr) November 7, 2022