For the fourth straight year, USC is bringing in teammates on signing day.
The West's top offensive tackle prospect, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and three-star cornerback Je'Quari Godfrey signed their National Letters of Intent and faxed them into the USC athletic department even before they were scheduled to have a signing day ceremony at Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd's gymnasium on Wednesday.
The Bishop O'Dowd duo helps fill a pair of needs for the Trojans. Clay Helton wants to own the trenches by re-configuring USC into a physical, run-first offense and the best way to do that is with stellar offensive line recruiting. To go along a four-star blueshirt from Northern California, Helton and offensive line coach Neil Callaway went in and took the No. 5 overall prospect from the northern half of the state -- the second-highest rated offensive lineman in the area.
Vera-Tucker was a mauler in the run game playing left tackle for Bishop O'Dowd, but the coaching staff believes he could play any of the positions on the offensive line due to his nimble footwork. Vera-Tucker expects to step in and compete right away with USC losing three offensive line starters.
“I'm always going in with a mentality that I'm going to start,” he said. “Obviously, I'm going to have to put in a lot of hard work because there's a lot of great players there already, but it's just what it is. In the offseason, it’s all about the mentality that I'm going to come to SC and I'm going to fight for my position.”
The 6-foot-4.5, 290-pound lineman is rated the No. 4 tackle in the West and 18th at the position overall. He is the No. 175 overall prospect in the Scout Top 300.
Joining Vera-Tucker on the journey from the Bay Area to Southern California is Godfrey. The long and lanky 6-foot-2, 175-pound cornerback flipped his commitment from California to USC in the 22nd hour of the recruiting cycle, choosing to leave the local area to team up with his Bishop brother just two weeks ago after an official visit.
Godfrey is the No. 13 cornerback in the state and the No. 62 overall in the country, but the Trojans think he is undervalued even though he is coming off a serious knee injury. It has been reported that Godfrey tore his posterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament, but he did not need surgery and is hoping to be ready for fall camp.
The addition of Godfrey gives defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast the length he desires on the outside to help defend big receivers in man coverage.
Here are some Alijah Vera- Tucker highlights from U.S. Army All-American Bowl practice and his senior season:
And Je'Quari Godfrey highlights:
Also, check out our quick glance at the 2017 USC Trojans recruiting class to see the latest updates on who has signed.
Not a USCFootball.com member? Sign up now and you'll get a seven day FREE trial! Join the Peristyle Family and get all the great information from USC football practices, Trojan football and basketball games, access to the Peristyle and all of the premium recruiting updates on USCFootball.com! Become a member today!
Follow Shotgun on Twitter: @ShotgunSpr