Porter Gustin Picks USC

Salem (Utah) defensive end/outside linebacker Porter Gustin chooses USC over Ohio State and Arizona State in front of 250 people at his high school.

After blowing up last spring with scholarship offers from all over the country, Salem (Utah) four-star defensive end Porter Gustin narrowed his choice down to USC, Ohio State, Arizona State and Utah.

"This group was up at 2:00 a.m. discussing each option," said his father, John Gustin. "We retired to bed and then received a text at 3:15 a.m. this morning from Porter informing us he has made a decision."

Tuesday, in front of a large crowd of friends and family at Salem Hills High School gymnasium, Gustin became commitment No. 21 for the USC class of 2015.

“I’ve decided to commit to the University of Southern California,” said Gustin.

Gustin, rated the nation’s No. 6 defensive end by Scout, explained his decision as being a tribute to his relationship with the Trojan coaching staff and his appreciation for tradition.

“The environment up there is just great,” said Gustin. “USC is a school I’ve followed my whole life, and from the first time I went up there for a visit, I’ve had a great relationship with the staff.

“Coach (Justin) Wilcox, Coach (Peter) Sirmon and Coach (Marques) Tui all stayed in contact with me throughout. I like the direction they’re taking the team and I think they can definitely be in the national championship hunt here in the next couple of years. "I feel like the program is on the rise.”

While Gustin’s final in-home and official visits went to Ohio State, he and his family ended up taking four different trips to USC. The last coming Jan. 16 with many of the Trojans then committed recruits.

Scout National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins sees Gustin eventually growing into a 265-pound defensive end hybrid.

“Gustin is one of the most versatile defensive players out West with the ability to play outside linebacker or defensive end, said Biggins. “He's a natural pass rusher, has great closing speed and is a huge hitter.

“He's a physical player with great strength and loves the weight room. He' strong against the run, does a nice job getting off blocks and plays with a great motor.”

Gustin commits to USC with the potential of playing MIKE linebacker or rush end. With his favorite player being former Chicago Bear middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, Gustin talked about playing in the middle of the defense from the U.S Army All-American Bowl.

“Yeah, Urlacher is tall, big and fast, so I like him,” said Gustin that week of practice. “Some schools are recruiting me to play outside linebacker too, but I’ll play anywhere.

“USC likes me playing inside. It was good playing (MIKE) because I got to see some higher competition and it prepared me for college.”

Gustin had a pick six in the Army All-American Bowl on his way to winning Defensive MVP for the West team.

With Gustin’s pledge Tuesday and the commitment of Salt Lake City five-star linebacker Osa Masina Jan. 23, the Trojans now have the two top players in Utah committed among the 2015 class.

USCFootball.com Top Stories