Rector sees USC class coming together

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Loyola three-star defensive end Christian Rector is playing with his hand on the ground for the Army All-American West squad, which is something he may not do at USC.

With the U.S. Army All-American Bowl being chock-full of USC Trojan commits and targets, three-star Christian Rector hasn’t received the same amount of attention as some of his fellow future Trojans. But that hasn’t stopped the Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola defensive end from taking advantage of the opportunity to compete.

“I’m going up against the best guys and I’m playing with the best guys,” Rector said. “I expected it to be good and I think I performed pretty well. I think I’m getting better each day.”

Playing as a 4-3 defensive end in San Antionio, Rector is getting an opportunity to play alongside some of the elite defensive linemen in the country, including guys like Khalil McKenzie and USC defensive tackle commit Jacob Daniel. Rector and Daniel, in particular, have worked well together in practice.

Daniel has been a bit of a revelation this week since he is finally back healthy after recovering from ACL surgery last year and hyperextending his leg early in his senior season. He’s also added some weight and looks like a potential true nose tackle for USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox’s 3-4 defense.

Playing with a healthy and heavier Daniel and other premier defensive linemen on the West squad is something Rector thinks will help him this week as well as in the future.

“It’s going to help my game out to create one-on-one matchups. We have some stunts for the game and it’s going to really help me out — me cutting inside, [Daniel] going around…and that really helps out.”

Rector has been playing defensive end this week, but he will soon be working on the transition to outside linebacker, most likely at rush end for USC. While his role will involve primarily rushing off the edge, he will also have to work on coverage drops and being a more versatile defender.

“I think I’ll be able to cover the tight end and drop into coverage occasionally, but then also rush and use my speed to get around the end or the tight end.”

In preparation for the next level, Rector has already put on some weight, bulking up to 255 pounds after playing at 240-245 pounds during his senior season. But he isn’t done adding.

“I just want to stay in shape during this winter/spring season. Then I think once I transition into USC, I’ll naturally put on 10-15 pounds there or however much they need me to gain,” Rector said. “I think I’ll still be able to move that around and still be able to function.”

For now, he is focused on this week. While Rector said he isn’t usually the vocal one pitching USC to every uncommitted prospect, he has been talking and spending time with the other Trojan commits and targets, of which there are plenty.

“I’ve heard somebody say that this is like a USC All-Star Game with all of the commits that are playing,” he said. “I just talk about the coaches and how personable they are and how you can get to know them. Also, the family and the community that SC has and has to offer and the education.”

“[The USC class is] almost full with all of the recruits. I think the future is pretty bright and I think the class is looking pretty well.” Top Stories