The top outside linebacker on the West Coast resides in the Bay Area, but he’s becoming a regular in Southern California.
Four-star Hayward (Calif.) Stellar Prep linebacker Addison Gumbs made a trip down last month for USC’s Elite Trojan Day and also checked out UCLA unofficially. This past weekend, he was at the Passing Down 7-on-7 passing tournament in Fontana (Calif.) and he will likely be returning next weekend to check out a USC football practice.
The Trojans are hoping to persuade the 6-foot-4, 215-pound specimen to take up a semi-permanent residence in Southern California, at least for a four-year period. They offered him a four-year football scholarship earlier this month.
“I was like ‘Wow’ because that’s a team that everybody always talks about, that everybody always has dreams of playing for,” Gumbs said.
“I was very excited to get the USC offer. I watched them many times growing up. They were one of my favorite teams growing up and they’re such a prestigious program. It was great to get an offer from them.”
This spring, Gumbs is making the rounds trying to unofficially visit the schools that have offered him, which is tough since he has become such a hot commodity after a monstrous junior season that saw him make 30 tackles for loss, including 23 sacks (in 10 games)!
Gumbs said he doesn’t have a top five or top 10 list as of yet because he hasn’t been able to get to most of the schools that have offered him, but he expects to make a decision sooner rather than later. Gumbs would prefer to make an announcement later this spring or early in the summer instead of having it linger into the season. However, that is a goal. Not a deadline.
“You know, if I don’t know what school I’m going to go to, I’m not going to rush into a decision.”
Expect USC to get serious consideration as Gumbs’ process plays out. USC was one of his favorite schools growing up. Gumbs appreciates the Trojan tradition, including that they have had “a lot of great linebackers, and he had a “great time” during the Elite Trojan Day.
The unofficial visit was his first opportunity to see the program behind the scenes from the weight room to the locker room to the man in charge, Clay Helton.
“They’ve got great facilities, great coaching staff, so it was great to learn about those things,” Gumbs said. “I talked to Coach Helton. I talked to [linebackers] Coach [Johnny] Nansen. I talked to a bunch of them. We just talked a lot about my play. We talked about how great USC is. It was just a great day.”
Gumbs said USC likes him at outside linebacker where his versatility can be used to get after the passer or drop back in coverage. On Sunday, he showed an ability to dominate receivers at the line of scrimmage, throwing multiple players to the ground before they could get going, while also being able to stay step for step with guys in open space.
“I feel like I’m a player and a linebacker that can really do it all. I can rush the passer. I can help stop the run and I can guard tight ends, guard the slot and guard running backs. I feel like I’m a linebacker that can really just do it all.”
Any team could use a player with that skill set. Could Gumbs, the No. 87 overall player in the 2016 Scout 300, end up as a Trojan?
“I’m very interested in USC. It’s just a really good program, great coaching staff, great location, great conference.”
Check out Addison Gumbs' highlights of him destroying opposing quarterbacks during his junior year: