Gerard Martinez

Eli'jah Winston visits USC

Eli'jah Winston is rated as the Western Region's No. 13 linebacker nationally this recruiting cycle, but still sits with only seven scholarship offers.

Portland (Ore.) four-star linebacker Eli'jah Winston would be rated as one of, if not the best linebacker on the West Coast in most years, but in 2018, he is fighting for notoriety from schools like USC. 

That is a testament to the depth of talent this year's recruiting cycle has more than it is a comment on Winston's potential. The expectation was that USC would offer Winston a scholarship after his unofficial visit to campus three weeks ago. 

“It was a great visit, but unfortunately I didn’t get to staying very long because I had to catch a flight,” said Winston. “I did get to meet with coach (Johnny) Nansen, and we had a good conversation about where he sees me in their program in a couple of years. 

“He sees me as an outside linebacker, playing the same position I am now in high school. That’s good because I feel like I can put a couple pounds on and play that position in college. 

“Ya know, it was a really good conversation and it gave me a better feel for our relationship as the process goes on.”

Winston is being recruited to play the rush end, predator linebacker spot by USC. While his position was made clear, his place on the Trojans’ recruiting board remains a bit vague. 

“No offer yet, but I’m patiently waiting for it,” said Winston. “I have a feeling it’s going to come because Coach Nansen and I had a really good conversation, and we could related to each other on things.

“I’m going to be patient. I'm very interested in USC. They are the top teams to produce linebackers that go to the NFL. There are also many other good colleges too though, so I have to wait and see.”

Winston’s opinion of USC is also reflective of his older brother’s. Lamar Winston was a four-star recruit in 2015. While he ritually signed with Oregon, he did receive a scholarship offer from USC. 

“When my brother went to catch a game at USC when he was being recruited, he said when you’re in that stadium, you just feel the energy,” said Winston. “It’s unexplainable and I want to experience that feeling. I want to see that atmosphere at USC.”


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