USC has been hot after several tight end targets this offseason. The Trojans are looking to involve the position in the offense more often and they need bodies.
With Connor Spears decision to give up football to pursue his future career and Cyrus Hobbi not being granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA, the Trojans are down to three tight ends until freshman Cary Angeline arrives in the fall. But his arrival will be offset by the graduation of starter Taylor McNamara following next season.
With three underclassman tight ends remaining, the Trojans have been looking to take multiple tight ends in the 2017 class. They currently have at least 11 offers out to tight ends with the most recent going to Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista three-star Erik Krommenhoek, who they initially saw while checking out Monte Vista quarterback Jake Haener.
Krommenhoek fancies himself as a “do-it-all” tight end. He’s been working to add weight to his 6-foot-5.5, 243-pound frame while getting stronger to help his blocking. He’s also seen improvements to his route-running and ability to get open through his work in 7-on-7 action.
To some USC’s scholarship offer was a surprising and hopeless attempt. Krommenhoek has been linked to UCLA due to family members that were Bruins. But Krommenhoek explained that it isn’t quite that cut and dry.
“First of all, I have a lot of family at USC. My grandma went to USC,” Krommenhoek said. “My cousin just graduated from USC and a couple of other relatives that went there. The family ties are split kind of both ways. They’re not partial to anything.”
In fact, he has stopped by both campuses multiple times in the past.
“I’ve taken tours to UCLA and USC both with cousins and family members that have been there, so I’ve taken multiple tours around both of those campuses. I’m very familiar with them, but I’m going to take a tour sometime [to USC] probably this summer to get a football facilities tour.”
Through his family connections, Krommenhoek knows the value of a degree from USC.
“Obviously it’s a great school. They are a winning program. The academics there. They have a great medical program. I love sports medicine and that kind of stuff. Obviously, they have a great program for that and Southern California is a great place with great weather.”
The Trojans’ plans to further incorporate the tight end is enticing. Krommenhoek is hoping to find an offense that isn’t afraid deploy big-bodied pass catchers.
“Definitely I would love to play in an offense that I fit the best and can be used. Obviously, Stanford uses the tight end a ton and USC and UCLA use their tight ends a lot as well. The school that uses their tight ends the way I think that I fit best is definitely going to be a place I consider.”
Krommenhoek hasn’t set a commitment date or time frame as of yet. He plans to sit down with his coaches to try to map out the best course on the recruiting trail. He’s already considered committing before, during and after the season, so he’s hoping his meeting will help clarify things.
At this point, he said he isn’t favoring any schools.
“Not at this point. I want to kind of see where everything goes from here and decide a little bit down the road in the summer where I’m going to visit or how many I want to visit.”
Check out Erik Krommenhoek's junior season highlights:
USC recruiting analyst Gerard Martinez contributed to this story.