Behind the Verbal: Liam Jimmons

Huntington Beach (Calif.) defensive end Liam Jimmons committed to USC after receiving scholarships from Colorado State, Washington, UNLV, Nevada and Utah State Sunday.

Huntington Beach (Calif.) defensive end Liam Jimmons was following his dream just attending the USC Lineman Camp Saturday, but when informed he was being given an opportunity to become a Trojan with a scholarship offer, few words could illustrate his joy.

“I just stood there in tears,” said Jimmons. “Just thinking about going to USC, words can't even explain. I came into the camp going for a scholarship, but man, I've dreamed about this ever since I was small.”

Jimmons wanted to commit on the spot, but he had to consult his parents before going heart first into a decision.

“I loved the camp, I loved the coaches and I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Jimmons. “I wanted to commit as soon as possible, but I had to get my parents on board with it.

“With my parents on board, I went down to the school today and committed. I would have signed today of I could have, but I committed to the best school possible for me.”

Jimmons, who also had scholarship offers from Washington, Nevada, Utah State, UNLV and Colorado State, measured in 6-foot-4.5, 242-pounds. While he plays both sides of the football for Huntington Beach, USC recruited him to play defense.

“They had me at d-line drills, and worked me out until I got tired,” said Jimmons. “Then I did some outside linebacker drills and some pass drops.

“Then I went back to defensive line drills before going over to the track field and worked at tight end some. I caught some balls, ran some routes and then it was time for one-on-ones with the defensive line.

“It was really competitive, but in the end, they gave me a scholarship and I had an unbelievable experience. Talking with the coaches afterward, they want me as a defensive end, but might move me around. If they need me as an emergency tight end I could play there, or even outside linebacker.”

In nine games as a junior, Jimmons had nine sacks, 39 tackles with 6.5 for losses. At The Opening Regional in Los Angeles, Jimmons ran a time of 5.16 in the 40-yard dash and 4.55 in the shuttle.

Playing with his hand on the ground for Huntington Beach, Jimmons is projected to grown into a five-technique for USC on the defensive line.

There’s a possibility Jimmons becomes a midyear graduate, but that will not option will not be definitive until he completes summer school.

Saturday, USC received a commitment from La Mirada (Calif.) defensive end Keanu Saleapaga after the Trojans Lineman Camp. Saleapaga, 6-foot-5, 265-pounds, is also expected to play on the interior defensive line in the Trojans 3-4 scheme as well.

Both players grew up USC fans and committed almost immediately upon being offered scholarships this weekend.

“I’m looking forward to… Man, I can’t even think about the future right now,” said Jimmons. “I’m still trying to take in what just happened yesterday and today.

“I still can’t even picture myself being in a USC uniform. I dreamed of this as a little kid, and now I’m going to be playing for USC? It’s just unbelievable.”

Like Saleapaga, Jimmons is ready focus on his senior season and shutdown the recruiting process after his verbal commitment Sunday.

“I’m done with recruiting — USC is it for me,” said Jimmons. “Of course there are other schools like Alabama or Oregon, which are big names, but if they came calling, I’d have to tell them I’m going to USC.”

Jimmons becomes commitment No. 10 for USC in the class of 2016.



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