When USC hired Lincoln Riley for a reported $110 million dollars just over a year ago from today, nobody outside of the University of Southern California or their supporters believed they would be a serious contender to make the college football playoff this season.
In his introductory press conference Riley said he wanted to continue to bring honor to USC’s tradition and to continue to build on it.
“The pieces are in place for us to build the program back to where it should be and the fans expect it to be. We will work hard to develop a physical football team that is dominant on both lines of scrimmage, and has a dynamic balanced offense and a stout aggressive defense.”
How Lincoln Riley Got USC Back On Track
Lincoln Riley is now in the driver’s seat for USC’s destiny as they are on the cusp of making the college football playoff for the first time in the schools history. Riley isn’t the only one in control of USC’s destiny though as sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams has dominated college football this year, and at the moment is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Williams transferred from Oklahoma following his coach to USC, alongside four star wide receiver Mario Williams from OU as well.
With USC’s success this year one can only go back and think about the new transfer rules in college football and how those rules made an immediate impact for the team this season. Jordan Addison, last season’s Biletnikoff Award winner (Top Receiver In The NCAA), transferred in early May to USC to play for Lincoln Riley, after some heavy recruiting by him (Riley) and Caleb Williams. Williams and Addison are both from the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area and played 7v7 football in high school together.
After catching 100 passes for 1,593 yards from Kenny Pickett last season, Addison fell back down to earth this season catching only 54 balls for 810 yards. Even with the drop of production, Addison was still able to have multiple hundred yards receiving games although his bottom line was a lot lower than it was last year when he was at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dont’e Thornton Would Be A Perfect Fit For USC
So with the entire Oklahoma and Pittsburgh fan bases already hating USC why not add another school to that list, with Caleb Williams doing most of the recruiting like he did for Addison. Dont’e Thornton (6’4”, 185 lbs) announced that he will be entering the transfer portal and leaving the University of Oregon. The former four star recruit out of Mount Saint Joseph in Baltimore played two seasons for the Ducks only having 26 catches for 541 yards and three scores.
With their local ties to the DMV area is it possible for Caleb Williams to be Lincoln Riley’s best recruiting tool for Thornton? Not only would playing for a national championship be enticing enough but playing with someone you grew up with could be a whole lot more fun too. As Well, Caleb Williams did retweet Thornton’s tweet about entering the transfer portal, so I’m digging in the weeds a little bit there.
Respect my decision! 🖤 #FreeMacc @Hayesfawcett3 @GradeFatz @CoachLester18 pic.twitter.com/bTuWMQNzsA
— Macc11🥷🏿 (@IamDTJ11) November 29, 2022
With Penn State also looking for a big name receiver to help bolster their offense it could come down to a bidding war with the new NIL rules. If that were to be the case, USC would surely have the edge in that department.
With USC becoming an immediate powerhouse using the transfer portal last season and their success this season, not only are four and five star players who are looking to transfer consider USC but players looking to commit out of high school will give USC a definite look now too. Either way Dont’e Thornton will be a fantastic pickup for whatever school he chooses to attend.
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