Gerard Martinez |

USC unofficial visit exceeds expectations for Draco Bynum

After receiving a scholarship offer from USC two weeks ago, three-star defensive end Draco Bynum got his first look at the campus and was blown away.

Wilsonville (Ore.) defensive end Draco Bynum has almost a full year remaining in the recruiting cycle.  While many of his Class of 2018 peers have already racked up several scholarship offers, he only has three. But, that trio of early offers is quite impressive with all three coming from highly regard Pac-12 programs — USC, UCLA and Oregon.

Bynum had only the UCLA offer until two weeks ago when he saw his other two offers come in succession on back-to-back days. Bynum had attended a Ducks camp before his sophomore season (and was named the top tight end in his grade at the camp), but to introduce himself to the new coaching staff, he sent his film to the Oregon coaches. That’s when the wheels went into motion and the offer was presented to him.

His game tape may have also played a part in the USC offer. Bynum believes the Trojans’ coaching staff were able to find one of his Wilsonville games online and that was impetus behind their extension of a scholarship offer.

Bynum has also been in contact with Washington, Boise State and Notre Dame and hopes to hear more from Stanford, which he said was his dream school growing up. Both USC and Oregon hold high standing with the 6-foot-5, 250 pounder, who is capable of playing on the edge on either side of the ball as a defensive end or tight end.

He called the USC offer “huge.”

“It was kind of a shock to my system. It came through in the morning, so I had just woken up and I was kind of just ‘Woah! Okay.’”

The Oregon offer also made a strong impression as the local, home state school.

“Obviously, being from Oregon, it was kind of just that, ‘Holy crap! I got an offer from Oregon,’” Bynum said. “As a kid, I always loved Oregon. They were a huge powerhouse. I mean I remember watching them in the playoffs and then in the national championship a couple of years back.”

The Ducks also have a Wilsonville connection with senior linebacker Johnny Ragin III being from the school. Oregon’s new coaching staff provided the scholarship offer to Bynum, but he is still developing relationships with them. Bynum said he hasn’t “really met with them a whole lot,” but he is hoping to grow the communication during the offseason.

Bynum was able to expand his knowledge of USC on Saturday when he took an unofficial visit before participating in Sunday’s Under Armour All-American Camp in Los Angeles. When he got on campus, he was blown away.

“It exceeded all expectations,” Bynum said. “I had no idea that it was such the academic machine that it is. He’s talking about graduating his kids in three years and that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I was very, very pleased and impressed.”

The three-star prospect said one of his top priorities is finding a school that offers a quality education because as he said, “Football is going to end. I want to have a career and a life after football.”

USC recruiting analyst Gerard Martinez contributed to this article.

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