USC Football: Trojans Score Verbal from Talented 3-Star Linebacker

Rick McMahanSenior Writer IOctober 19, 2013

When USC decided to replace head coach Lane Kiffin midway through the 2013 season, conventional wisdom had the Trojans suffering a slowdown with their recruiting efforts due to the uncertainty that accompanied not having a permanent head man leading the program.

So much for that.

With interim head coach—and recruiting coordinator—Ed Orgeron leading the way, USC has been even more active on the recruiting front and those efforts have paid off in a big way.

First, USC scored a verbal commitment from Narbonne High School (Harbor City, CA) safety/linebacker Uchenna Nwosu and last night they did the same when 2014 Junipero Serra linebacker, Olajuwon Tucker pledged to the Trojans as well.

Tucker is a fast-rising 3-star prospect who stars for one of the best high school defenses in the west.

At 6'3", 229 pounds, Tucker is a late bloomer who is getting better by the game and that is evidenced by the comments of his coach, Scott Altenberg, who told's Greg Biggins the following, "He has probably been our best defensive player."

Altenberg continued, "He has that great frame, is very athletic and he just makes plays. Some guys peak early, he’s a kid who peaked late and he’s just getting started. His best days are ahead of him and he’s going to be a great player down the road.”

Bear in mind, Tucker plays on a high school defense that also stars 2013 5-star prospect Adoree Jackson, 4-star prospect Dwight Williams and 2015 high profile prospects, John Houston and Rasheem Green.

As for Tucker, the decision to commit to the Trojans came less than two weeks after Orgeron made the offer to him, “I’ve always wanted to play for USC,” Tucker said following Friday night's game. “When they offered me, I was pretty overwhelmed. I thought about it all week and I really couldn’t think of any reason to hold off making a decision."

Tucker will still take some visits according to Biggins, but said his mind is made up, “Yeah, I’m still going to do the visits, the coaches are fine with that, My commitment is pretty solid though, like I said, USC is where I’ve always wanted to go."

Olajuwon Tucker still holds offers from programs such as Miami (FL), Arizona State and Utah among others.