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Commitment Analysis: What USC is getting in Rivals250 CB Philip Riley

Philip Riley announced his USC commitment Monday after previously being committed to Notre Dame.
Philip Riley announced his USC commitment Monday after previously being committed to Notre Dame. (

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When USC hired cornerbacks coach Donte Williams away from Oregon in February, the hope was that Williams could make an immediate impact while building on his reputation as a top national recruiter.

And he has most definitely delivered on those expectations.

With the commitment Monday of 4-star Rivals250 cornerback Philip Riley (Bloomingdale HS/Valrico, Fla.), who was committed to Notre Dame until backing off that pledge on Friday, Williams won another major recruiting battle, the likes of which the Trojans simply weren't winning a year ago.

**Read our full story on Riley's commitment, including an interview with the prospect here**

USC's last two 2021 commits now have been Riley, who Williams didn't give up on after he committed to the Fighting Irish in May, and fellow Rivals250 cornerback Prophet Brown (Monterey Trail HS/Elk Grove, Calif.), who most projected to Oklahoma before Williams closed strong to land his Trojans pledge in July.

Overall, USC has six 4-star defensive back commits now in this 2021 class, including three Rivals250 cornerbacks with Bishop Alemany HS standout Jaylin Smith the other, and three standout safeties in Calen Bullock (Muir HS), Xamarion Gordon (Warren HS) and Anthony Beavers (Narbonne HS).

As for Williams' impact, he was also key in landing Beavers (who had been committed to Oregon when he was on staff there) and assisted safeties coach Craig Naivar in landing Bullock as well.

With regard to Riley, meanwhile, we break down what his commitment means for the Trojans, and our experts deliver their scouting reports on the talented cornerback.

What it means for USC

USC has certainly met its needs in the secondary this recruiting cycle after coming up totally empty at both cornerback and safety in the 2020 class.

Again, give a lot of credit to Williams and Naivar for establishing themselves quickly as impact recruiters for USC.

And the Trojans aren't necessarily done here. Even with the six 4-star commits, USC still has room for and would like to add 4-star Rivals100 cornerback Ceyair Wright (Loyola HS), who is not expected to announce a decision until the All-American Bowl in January.

Overall, USC has 19 public commitments, though as we've discussed on Trojan Talk it's possible one or two of those will be dropping off eventually.


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