USC ends with another strong finish on National Signing Day
By Joey Kaufman
LOS ANGELES — Olaijah Griffin, a talented cornerback from Mission Viejo High, sat in a director’s chair in an ESPN studio Wednesday morning, surrounded by more than a dozen friends and family members.
Griffin was prepared to unveil which college football program he planned to join among Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and USC.
“I’ll be heading to the university of,” Griffin began, before pointing to his right.
On cue, his father, rapper Warren G, popped a black balloon as if it was a gender reveal party, and gold confetti streamed out.
“Southern California,” Griffin continued. “Fight On!”
Amid cheers, Griffin raised a “V for victory” sign with his right hand and put on a cardinal-colored USC hat. A few minutes later, rapper Snoop Dogg joined him on the studio set, along with former Trojans linebacker Willie McGinest.
The final push for USC on National Signing Day, as in previous years, did not lack for drama.
Griffin’s announcement came an hour after Solomon Tuliaupupu, a top-rated linebacker from Mater Dei High, revealed he would also sign a letter of intent with the Trojans. His televised ceremony included a large King Kong figurine on a table.
Even with the inaugural early signing period in December – with almost three-fourths of recruits inking with schools – USC added four previously uncommitted prospects to its signing class. It similarly added six undeclared players last year on the traditional signing day in a strong finish.
With 18 signees by the evening, including five of the top six prospects in California, USC finished with a top-10 ranked recruiting class for a fifth consecutive year and moved up to No. 4 in the 247 Sports composite rankings.
“On the last day, their history, their tradition comes through,” Mack Brown, a college football analyst and former Texas coach, said on air following Griffin’s commitment.
Wide receiver Devon Williams (Antelope Valley […]