Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley offensive tackle Jalen McKenzie missed his entire junior season with an ACL tear, but with his senior season complete, the Trojans evaluation of his film resulted in a scholarship offer Friday.
While his father Reggie, General Manager for the Oakland Raiders, is a Tennessee alum and his brother Khalil is currently a defensive tackle for the Volunteers, Jalen grew up a Trojan fan.
“The offer means the world to me,” said McKenzie. “I've loved USC since I was 5-years-old.
“Getting an offer from them has been a goal I had since I was younger, so it feels great.”
McKenzie was in regular contact with USC last spring, having been in contact with Trojans head coach Clay Helton since he was a position coach who recruited the Bay Area under Lane Kiffin.
“I’ve been in heavy contact with Coach Clay, Coach Tee (Martin) and Coach (Neil) Calloway,” said McKenzie. “Coach Calloway and I have been talking for a very long time, so it's not sudden.
“I'm going to be in town next week and I hope to see what USC is all about. I want to see the facilities and what they had to offer as a school academically.”
For McKenzie, prestige is something that rings true for him when he thinks about USC as a college option going forward.
“What intrigues me is the history and return to greatness of USC,” said McKenzie, who was in Houston this weekend for the Raiders showdown with the Texans. “Everything that USC has to offer outside of football.”
McKenzie holds scholarship offers from UCLA, Arizona State, Baylor, Utah and Miami among others. While it sounds like USC has jumped to the front of the pack with Friday’s scholarship offer, McKenzie shies away from confirming as much.
“I don’t have favorites yet or other visits scheduled,” said McKenzie. “I’m visiting USC next weekend and I’ll commit to a school whenever it feels right.”