Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei five-star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is rated the nation’s No. 1 player at his position, and Sunday at the Passing Down Best of The West Tournament, he re-established his place among the 2018 class.
St. Brown came through from Mater Dei Sunday with a game-winning catch on a Hail Mary. As the most coveted wide receiver on the West Coast, USC has predictably increased their presence in St. Brown’s recruitment over the past few months.
“I did get down to see them in spring practice,” said St. Brown. “The receivers… shoot, they had Jalen Greene playing receiver.
“I think I can and have a chance to make an impact. The coaches said that I would have a good chance of playing early too. I talked to Tee Martin in the film room and went over some plays.
“They said that if I went there, I could play their F position, or whatever position they move inside and outside of their offense. Nelson Agholor and Marqise Lee both played it at USC.”
While St. Brown has become one of the most coveted players on the Trojans' recruiting board, he is still evaluating his fit within the depth chart.
“I feel like I can be productive in their offense just by the way they throw the ball a lot,” said St. Brown. “If you’re their top guy, they will target you.
“Juju Smith was their top receiver his freshman year, so when you are a top receiver, they know how to utilize those guys. That’s a big plus for me.”
St. Brown’s latest trip to USC was purely for athletic purposes as he watched practice and spent time with the coaching staff watching
However, that’s where having two older brothers go through the recruiting process comes in handy.
“I’ve been to USC’s campus a few times with my brothers,” said St. Brown. “I know a lot about the campus and the academics at USC.
“The academics at USC aren’t a question for me. Going up there this last time, it was to focus on football and my fit in their offense.”
This month, college coaches from all over the country will visit Mater Dei High School. While those coaches will want to evaluate St. Brown, he is also doing his own evaluations.
“The big thing for me is to see what receivers those schools are getting this year and what receivers they are getting in the future,” said St. Brown. “I also want to see where I fit into each school’s offense.
“A lot of schools are set at receiver or have three receivers that they already really like. I want to go to a school where I can be featured right away. Competition isn’t a problem for me, but I want to see how I can make an impact early.”
This summer, St. Brown will begin to narrow his list of college options. That will come on the heels of a couple of unofficial visits.
“I’m thinking I’ll get up to Stanford this summer and then I’d like to get to Ohio State and Michigan too,” said St. Brown. “Money is tight though, so I’m not sure about that.
“I have an idea of what schools I want to eventually officially visit, but I’m not exactly sure. I think by August I’ll definitely have some visits set. I want to have a top five by then. That would be manageable.”
USC has a handful of factors keeping them in consideration for an official visit.
“They’re close to home, and that’s a plus,” said St. Brown. “The weather here in California is another plus.
“USC is a top school too. No matter what, USC always seems to be a top school. They ended the season No. 3 in the nation after everything. They always figure out a way to be at the top. SC is a great school.”
USC also has another unique factor working in its favor recruiting St. Brown.
With his brother Osiris at Stanford and his other brother Equanimeous at Notre Dame, USC is one of the only schools with a schedule that would allow his parents the opportunity to see all three brothers play during the year.
“That’s definitely a plus because USC plays both Notre Dame and Stanford every year, but I don’t think my parents care to the point that they would push me there because of that,” said St. Brown. “It’s a good thing though.”