Student Sports

USC recruiting: West's No. 1 DT down to five

The top defensive tackle in the West, Jay Tufele, trims his list of prospective schools to a final five, including USC.

One of USC's top 2017 targets has trimmed his list down. Four-star South Jordan (Utah) Bingham defensive tackle Jay Tufele announced early Friday that he was planning to cut down his list of schools to a final five:

The 6-foot-3, 297-pound monster in the middle of the defensive line chose two in-state schools, two Big 10 powers and the USC Trojans:

Tufele is the top-ranked player in the state of Utah this season and has a pair of Salt Lake suitors remaining with BYU and Utah still in his top five. He plans to use the final weekend of the recruiting period to go check out the Utes on Jan. 27 and will likely visit the Cougars immediately after the conclusion of the current dead period. Previously, he was debating between using that trip on BYU or Washington, but it would seem the Cougars have the advantage for that fifth visit.

The No. 3 defensive tackle overall and the top player in the West at his position, Tufele has some big-name suitors, particularly in the Midwest where Ohio State and Michigan continue to battle for his services. During the season, he took official visits to both schools.

His fifth visit will be used to come to Los Angeles where Tufele is slated to visit USC on Jan. 20. He previously took an unofficial visit to see the Trojans in the spring and recently got to reconnect personally with USC defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze, who stopped in for an in-home visit.

"It was real cool," Tufele told Scout last week. "He has stopped by a couple times before and it's always great talking with him."

"I want to go over [to USC] again and, just like any player, I want to know more about their campus, the lifestyle and environment, and also if it's a place for me. I want to get to know some of the players more, too, because it's all about finding the perfect fit."

Before his final visits, Tufele will be playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

Here's highlights from Jay Tufele's trip to The Opening Finals this summer in Beverton, Ore.:

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