Stanford RB Austin Jones becomes USC's latest Pac-12 transfer addition
USC continues to have success adding transfers from other Pac-12 programs under first-year head coach Lincoln Riley. The latest piece fell into place Thursday as Stanford RB Austin Jones announced his plans to make the move to Los Angeles and suit up for the Trojans.
The junior running back from Antioch entered the NCAA Transfer Portal last week after three seasons with the Cardinal. Jones shined as a sophomore during the shortened 2020 season as he rushed for 550 yards and nine touchdowns in addition to hauling in 21 passes for another 156 yards receiving.
In his career, Jones has rushed for 1,155 yards and 12 touchdowns while at Stanford. Plus, he has caught 68 passes for 539 yards receiving. He pulled in his first touchdown reception during the 2021 season and finished fourth on the team with 32 catches for 267 yards receiving.
Jones helps fill a need for the Trojans on offense after the team lost its top two RBs Keaontay Ingram (draft) and Vavae Malepeai (eligibility). Jones will compete with Darwin Barlow, entering his second year after transferring in from TCU last summer, and second year RB Brandon Campbell, while 5-star signee Raleek Brown will be in more of an all-purpose role.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound back is the eighth transfer addition for the Trojans and the fourth this week. Two of those players are making the move within the conference after Colorado receiver Brenden Rice and cornerback Mekhi Blackmon both decided to join USC's program in the last few days.
Oklahoma cornerback Latrell McCutchin also decided to transfer to USC this week.
Jones was a highly-touted member of the 2019 recruiting class out of Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland. Rivals ranked him as the fifth-best running back in the class and the 107th-best prospect in the country that year.
He held offers from every other Pac-12 school at that time in addition to offers from programs such as Notre Dame, Florida, Penn State, Northwestern, Nebraska and South Carolina among many others.
The Trojans continue to wait on a decision from Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, but the program has continued to add other pieces to the team in the meantime in what has been a busy offseason. Here's a recap of USC's losses and additions.
Players entering the portal:
DT Jake Lichtenstein (landed at Miami)
OLB Hunter Echols (Arizona)
OLB Juliano Falaniko
S Chase Williams
LB Raymond Scott
QB Kedon Slovis (Pitt)
K Parker Lewis
OL Liam Douglass
RB Kenan Christon
WR Joseph Manjack (Houston)
OL Casey Collier
QB Jaxson Dart
TE Michael Trigg
WR Bru McCoy
CB Jayden Williams
NT Ishmael Sopsher
DT Earl Barquet (TCU)
OT Bobby Haskins (Virginia)
WR Terrell Bynum (Washington)
DT Tyrone Taleni (Kansas State)
WR Mario Williams (Oklahoma)
WR Brenden Rice (Colorado)
CB Mekhi Blackmon (Colorado)
CB Latrell McCutchin (Oklahoma)
RB Austin Jones (Stanford)