The earliest commitments are often the ones that don’t end up lasting, and that’s the case again as 2022 3-star offensive center Dylan Lopez announced Friday on Twitter that he has decommitted from USC.
Lopez committed back in November, the third commit of USC’s 2022 class. Two of those — including 4-star Rivals100 LB Junior Tuihalamaka — have now backed off those pledges.
In Lopez’s case, a lot has changed since he made his decision. He’s moved from Rancho Verde HS in California to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and USC has changed offensive line coaches, firing Tim Drevno and hiring Clay McGuire.
Perhaps one of both of those factors influenced this decision.
Ultimately, center is not a pressing need for the Trojans at this time. Brett Neilon is entering his third year as a starter and has two years of eligibility left if he chooses to take them (one is the extra year granted by the NCAA to all 2020 fall sports athletes). Veteran backup Justin Dedich is a year behind him, and then USC had already moved 2020 signee Andrew Milek to center and is also giving 2020 4-star signee Jonah Monheim a look there this spring.
Monheim was the Trojans’ highest-ranked offensive line signee in that 2020 class and could be a future keystone at the position if that’s where he settles.
Further down the depth chart, USC also has 2019 recruit Gino Quinones at center as well.
What the Trojans need are offensive tackles, and that will remain the primary area of focus in OL recruiting this cycle.