Moraga (Calif.) Campolindo three-star Tyler Petite becomes only the second tight end commit USC has had in the past three years.
With only two scholarship tight ends currently on the active roster,
and one of those players being a redshirt senior, the Trojans pledge
from Petite is no small pick up.
In 2015, USC will lose former-walk on Chris Wilson and Randal Telfer to
graduation, so signing Ventura (Calif.) four-star tight end Bryce Dixon
last February was crucial for the Trojans.
According to Scout National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins, landing
Petite Friday was almost just as important even as a three-star rated
“I would almost think USC would want to bring in two guys, but it’s
just not a deep year at the position,” said Biggins. “I would kill the
star thing. He’s our No. 2 guy out west and I definitely think he can
come in early and contribute at a position of need for USC.
“I think he is someone USC fans should definitely be excited about.”
In July, Petite stunned USC fans by verbally committing to Duke over
the Trojans just a week after participating in the Rising Stars Camp.
As he headed back home after the morning session of the camp’s second
day, Petite appeared close to committing to USC.
“I got there in the morning and met with the coaches around 11:15 a.m,”
he said. “I worked out for the second half of the camp, which was a lot
of fun. I was just going to come down to hang out, but it was a good
opportunity to get coached up by Coach (Marques) Tuiasosopo and get a
feel for him.
“Later that night, I went to dinner with the tight ends. It was just
good to be around those guys and get a feel for things off the field.
I’ve seen the campus and the facilities. I wanted to get around the
players and coaches again.
“I didn’t really have many questions. I spoke to the support staff at
USC on my first visit, and they were all really good guys. The degree
is top-notch. I didn’t really need to
see much more from them on that end of things. We don’t even get tutors
in high school, so that difference in and of itself is huge.
“But the one thing about USC is besides the degree you get, there are
some connections you have after you leave. The network and connections
there is a deference maker.”
What ended up being the difference maker for USC was the relentlessness
of the Trojans coaching staff in pursuing Petite despite his surprising
commitment to Duke.
Having seen Petite play up-close at the Oakland NIKE Camp in May,
Biggins has specific reasons to think the 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end
was worth the effort.
“He’s a natural pass-catcher and fits what USC is looking to do,” said
Biggins. “Sometimes you see big guys try to run and catch, but they
look unorthodox or awkward. Petite has nice size, but he looks real
“He goes up for the ball and has a nice catch radius. I really like how
he catches the ball. He can do some things down the field, but I also
think he can be that 3rd down and 8 receiver. He brings a lot to the
Petite caught 31 passes for 11 touchdowns as a junior. As a senior he
had 30 receptions for 860-yards and nine touchdowns, so while he has
proven to be threat catching the football, he has yet to become the
focal point of an offense as a receiver.
But catching the football is not where Biggins sees Petite needing to
focus to make an impact in college.
“I think physicality is where he has to develop the most,” said
Biggins. “As with any young kid, he just has to get bigger and
stronger. Like I said, I like how he catches the football.
“When I saw him up in Oakland for the NIKE Camp, he was all of
6-foot-5, but only around 220-pounds. You want to see him get bigger
and stronger. Obviously, you want to see him do a little more in the
blocking game. He just needs to fill out more, especially in the upper
Petite takes the Trojans class to 17 total commitments, selecting USC
over Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, Miami and Cal among others.
Petite no small pick up
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