Student Sports

Oluwole Betiku commits to USC on Christmas

USC fans received quite the Christmas present Friday morning as five-star defensive end Oluwole Betiku announced his commitment to the Trojans via Twitter.

Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star defensive end Oluwole Betiku commits to USC Christmas day, with plans to enroll as a Trojan shortly after New Years.

It was a whirlwind ending to the nation’s No. 2 ranked defensive by Scout. Betiku announced on Twitter he would enroll at USC in January after being committed to UCLA at the beginning of the football season.

“ Thankful to God, Family and football ,I will be a Trojan fighting on to greatness at USC,” said Betiku via Twitter.

Betiku becomes commitment No. 15 for USC in the 2016 class. He joins safety teammate commit C.J. Pollard of Serra as an early entrant for the Trojans.

USC now has seven total recruits ready to enroll at USC and participate in spring football under first year head coach Clay Helton. Betiku officially visit Florida State, Notre Dame and Texas A&M before taking his last trip to USC Dec. 11.

“The USC trip really opened his eyes,” said his teammate C.J. Pollard. “He was warming up to the coaches and everything already, but the visit shows him the academics and connections you make at USC.

“Each time he came up to the school, he just became closer and closer with the program and tradition at USC.”

Betiku’s feeling for USC became apparent after the termination of head coach Steve Sarkisian. even without a head coach in place, Betiku still spoke of the Trojans football program with praise.

“It’s whatever,” said Betiku in November. “Any school can fire the coach the year I get there. Miami just changed their head coach. You can’t really think about that.

“The coach shouldn’t be the main the reason you make a decision about a school. Coaches come and go, but the school stays the same. Coach Helton is a great guy, and if they keep him, fine, but I’m still going through the recruiting process with USC. And they’ve been playing well and winning.

“USC is a great program. Whatever coach that goes to USC is going to a program that looks forward to winning every year. They’re going to do what it takes to have one of the best football programs in the country. They have a good education and a good environment on campus. It’s just family out there."

Betiku chooses USC Friday despite the Trojans having yet hired a defensive line coach or defensive coordinator either. Over the summer, scheme was more of an issue for Betiku than coaches.

“I wanted to play in a wide nine techniques as a defensive end in a 4-3 at first,” said Betiku. “But this past season, I’ve played all over.

“I spoke to [USC linebackers coach [Peter] Sirmon. He told me that when I come most times I'm going to line up on the tight end for run plays and stand up to rush on pass. That they are going to mix it up. I'm going to put my hand in the dirt and also stand up. It all depends.

“They want to use me the way Von Miller is, just like a rush end that gets to the passer on all downs. I kind of like it. That's what you saw me today. I kind of tried to stand up sometimes on some plays.”

This season, Betiku had 70 tackles, 28 for losses and 6.4 sacks. Moving to Southern California from Maryland via Nigeria, Betiku is only in his second full year of playing football. 

Betiku will not participate in the Under Armour All-America game because of a shoulder injury. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound five-star is, however, expected to enroll at USC Jan. 11 and participate in spring football.

Betiku commits to USC over scholarship offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Florida State, UCLA, Oklahoma, LSU and others. For more on the impact of Betiku’s commitment on the USC 2016 class, stay tuned to Top Stories