USC entered the recruiting race for a local offensive lineman late this week, extending an offer to offensive tackle Sam Yoon (Los Angeles/Loyola).
Yoon has been on the USC radar for some time, with a relationship established between himself and offensive line coach Clay McGuire. Conversation and bi-weekly communications turned into an invitation to visit the school in June and participate in an in-person evaluation. Yoon clearly impressed the USC coaches enough to earn an offer.
"He really liked my tape going in," Yoon said of McGuire. "The workout was validating what he saw."
The three-star tackle has been one of California's big risers as a prospect this spring and summer. After checking in at 280 pounds this spring, he said he measured in for his USC workout at 6-foot-4 and a half inches and 294 pounds. He's reeled in offers from Cal, Colorado, Oregon State and UCLA since early June.
"I’ve definitely seen a big rise in my recruitment the last few months," Yoon said. "It's a testament to the work I put in during the extended offseason and a good few games in the spring. I'm definitely a guy that has developed a lot."
Yoon took an official visit to Cal in June and UCLA is making a strong push for him as well. Academics are important for Yoon, and that makes Stanford a potential landing spot if the Cardinal were to offer. He also has Ivy League options available, but the Trojans now have him in their sights with McGuire leading the way. The USC coach was able to put Yoon through the drills during the evaluation workout and Yoon liked what he heard and saw from the USC coach throughout the day.
"I really respect coach McGuire. I think he's a fantastic coach," Yoon said. "I liked his workout and coaching style. I appreciate when I can tell that coaches have a wealth of understanding of the position, and when they are genuine in their joy for coaching."
Yoon said offensive coordinator Graham Harrell watched some of the workout and made sure to stop by McGuire's office when Yoon and his dad were meeting with the coach. Yoon said Harrell wanted to debunk the common perception that USC is a throw-it-all-the-time offense without significant involvement from and development of the offensive line. He was able to watch some plays from last season to get an idea of USC's offensive philosophy. That might have been big for Yoon, who said he's looking at offensive styles and how they might factor into his decision in terms of his development. He said he feels a balanced offense would likely be a more attractive one for him.
Yoon also has the ability that head coach Clay Helton said the Trojans look for in an offensive lineman. He plays tackle but has the frame and ability to shift to a few spots along the line in college. Yoon said he's been told that he'll likely project to guard, but he'd be even willing to work on snapping if that made him more versatile.
As of now, Yoon believes he'll make a decision on a school toward the end of the summer and before the season starts. He said he'd love to be able to take multiple visits to other schools, but he's concerned that spots are filling up in the 2022 recruiting class.
USC holds a commitment from one offensive lineman in this class, in three-star tackle Keith Olson (Napavine, Wash./Napavine). There are a number of high-profile offensive line targets remaining, including five-stars Josh Conerly Jr. (Seattle/Rainier Beach) and Devon Campbell (Arlington, Tex./Bowie) and four-stars Earnest Greene (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), Elijah Pritchett (Columbus, Ga./Carver), Neto Umeozulu (Allen, Tex./Allen), among others.