CORONA, Calif. — Steady and attentive, Tyjon Lindsey worked through drills Thursday afternoon during his second practice session with Southern California powerhouse Centennial High School.
The 5-star wide receiver recruit, fresh off a transfer from Las Vegas heavyweight Bishop Gorman High School, seems to be settling in nicely just a few weeks into his arrival.
"It was pretty harsh at first, but this is where my family is. I was homesick, and now I feel back at home," Lindsey told Bleacher Report.
Centennial, a two-time defending Pac-5 Division champion, welcomed him to the roster earlier this month. Lindsey, a 5'9", 165-pound playmaker, started his high school career at Poway High School in San Diego County as a freshman.
He returns to the region after a highly productive two-season stint at Bishop Gorman. The Gaels went 30-0 during a span that saw Lindsey catch 79 passes for 2,001 yards and 29 touchdowns, per MaxPreps.
Centennial, 27-4 since 2014, is another highly respected high school football factory. Head coach Matt Logan will likely look to Lindsey early and often as a replacement for 2016 Notre Dame signee Javon McKinley, who racked up 3,207 receiving yards during the past two seasons.
"Both teams have high expectations, so I'm used to that. My only challenge right now is becoming more comfortable with the plays here," Lindsey said.
Tyler Donohue @TDsTake
5-star WR Tyjon Lindsey, fresh off his transfer from Bishop Gorman, putting in work well in advance of senior season https://t.co/dOPcNsecHB2/25/2016, 11:32:40 PM
He's also challenged to work through a frenzied recruiting process. Lindsey has been on the national radar throughout his high school career, leading to several scholarship offers along the way.
Now approaching his senior season, Lindsey admits he can feel some pressure mounting as national signing day looms in February 2017.
"It's very hectic right now. I've been talking with so many coaches, it's hard to remember all their names," Lindsey said. "Even though it's getting crazy, I'm trying to focus on learning our playbook here. Once I get that down and feel comfortable with our offense, I can put more attention on recruiting."
He's already shifted some attention toward Ohio State, as he's set to visit the campus in late March. He'll travel to Columbus alongside former Bishop Gorman teammate and 4-star Buckeyes defensive tackle commit Haskell Garrett.
"My relationship with the team's staff is great, and we talk a lot. Now I just need to experience Ohio State in person and find out if it's a good fit," Lindsey said.
He credits head coach Urban Meyer, wide receivers coach Zach Smith and director of player personnel Mark Pantoni as integral components of his established rapport with the program.
"It's been sparks flying with us since they first reached out," Lindsey said.
He points to a significant collection of family members in Ohio as further incentive to explore the university, though there's certainly a climate adjustment between Corona and Columbus.
"I want to get back out there again when it's cold so if that's my college choice, I can understand what that weather is like," Lindsey said.
His next campus visit won't require cold-weather attire, as he plans to attend a USC junior day event Feb. 27. He will be joined in Los Angeles by multiple former Bishop Gorman teammates, including fellow 5-star prospect and close friend Tate Martell.
The nation's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback previously played alongside Lindsey at Poway in 2013, before they both transferred to Bishop Gorman. They lived together in the Martell household dating back to eighth grade, according to Lindsey.
"We're like brothers, and I've always thought about going to college with him," he said. "That's still something I think about but all in all, it's my college decision, and I've got to do what's best for me. But Tate is always family, and we'll support each other no matter which paths we choose."
Martell committed to Texas A&M in August. Even before that pledge, the prized passer told B/R his longtime target would be a top priority.
"Obviously, I'll be pressuring Tyjon to pick the same school as me. I think he will," Martell said last summer. "He wants to wait for a few more offers, which I think will come. He'll get any offer he wants. We'll see how things develop, but I think he'll end up joining me."
Now USC has an opportunity to impress both top-tier talents Saturday. It's a golden opportunity for the Trojans staff.
"The thing I'm looking for most during this visit is comfort. I want to see how the coaches treat me at USC, have a great talk with them and just feel if that's a place I want to be," Lindsey said.
Lindsey doesn't have a list of favorites at this stage but does view a collection of universities as prime targets for possible upcoming visits. Along with Ohio State and USC, he mentioned Notre Dame, Arizona, Louisville and Texas A&M as potential destinations.
Auburn also appeared to thrust itself into the equation shortly after Thursday's practice session at Centennial:
When it comes to a commitment timeline, Lindsey is adamantly against waiting until national signing day for his decision. He believes the earliest an announcement could arrive is this summer, and Lindsey is hesitant to commit during the season because he doesn't want to take any focus off Centennial's mission.
"I don't want to sugarcoat anything. I want to be straight up with all these coaches when I make my choice. I'll know when the time is right," he said.
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