Rodgers Picks USC

Eastern Christian Academy (Elkton, Md.) offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers picked up a USC offer recently, and it didn't take him long to act on it. He committed to the Trojans on Wednesday.

Even before USC offered Khaliel Rodgers, he felt a connection to the school and the area.

He visited campus several times, and always talked about the beauty of it, and how the mix of academics, football and atmosphere impressed him.

On Wednesday, a week after receiving an offer, the Eastern Christian Academy (Elkont, Md.) offensive lineman showed it wasn't rhetoric as he committed to the Trojans.

"He did it about an hour ago," Eastern Christian coach Dwayne Thomas said. "There was a lot he liked. It's southern California, the football is (great), the academics are second to none and he and (USC commit and teammate) Kenny Bigelow are best friends."

The 6-foot-1, 300-pound Rodgers is the second-rated center in FOXSportsNEXT's 2013 class, and was routinely one of the top centers on the camp circuit.

"He brings a physicality, a mental toughness, to the game," Thomas said. "They're not a power type of running team. They're more of a zone run team, but (USC coach) Lane (Kiffin) agreed with me that as you comb the country, who's better for interior offensive linemen?

"With them coming from California, they had a lot of kids to sift through, and they found out about him later in the spring, and they came out saw him and evaluated film and looked at tape and looked at what they had at their camps and they didn't see anyone better."

Rodgers is strong and plays with a low center of gravity, and Thomas believes that should translate into a quick transition to college.

"It depends what they have in front as to how quickly he will play," Thomas said. "I think he's a kid that will challenge for a starting position early."

Six weeks ago the Trojans were not on a final list that included Auburn, Connecticut, Ole Miss, Ohio State, UCLA and West Virginia, but that changed with the recent USC offer.

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