USC recruiting: Defensive linemen are a challenge in 2016

USC recruiting: Defensive linemen are a challenge in 2016
Gardena Serra defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku has narrowed his choices for college, and USC is not among them. (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

USC could sign up to four defensive linemen in its 2016 recruiting class.

But it will be a challenge.


No linemen have committed to USC, and it doesn't appear that any are on the verge.

Gardena Serra High's Oluwole Betiku, one of the only local players offered, has narrowed the list of colleges he says he's considering to six and they do not include the Trojans -- though USC's fall roster will have eight players from Serra.


Most of the linemen USC is pursuing are from outside Southern California and are considered among the top prospects in the class.

Rashan Gary, Dexter Lawrence and Rashard Lawrence participated in the Rivals Five-Star Challenge this month in Baltimore, Md.

Gary, from Paramus Catholic High in New Jersey, has more than 20 scholarship offers.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Gary will participate at the Opening in July and will play in the Under-Armour All-American game in January.


He told Rivals he "definitely" planned to make an official visit to USC.

Dexter Lawrence, of Wake Forest, N.C., also has more than 20 offers. Lawrence, 6-foot-4 and 335 pounds, will attend camp at USC this month, Rivals reported.

He also was selected to participate in the Opening.

USC does not appear to be in a good position for Rashard Lawrence, from Neville High in Monroe, La.

Lawrence, 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, has not narrowed his list of schools, but recently visited Alabama and LSU. He told Rivals that he would try to make summer visits to Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oregon, Washington and UCLA.

Justin Madubuike, 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, was high school teammates with USC freshman tailback Ronald Jones at McKinney North in Texas. Madubuike has more than 15 offers and has not listed favorites.

Connor Murphy of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, has 15 offers. He said Trojans assistants Chris Wilson and Peter Sirmon have recruited him.

Murphy, 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, will visit Oregon this weekend and will schedule other visits this summer, he said.


Jordan Elliott and Ed Oliver, both of Westfield High in Houston, have USC offers. However, both are committed to Houston.

Here's a look at the players who have committed to USC for 2016:

Player, position, high school

Matt Fink, QB, Glendora

Velus Jones, WR, Saraland (Ala.)

Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett

Melquise Stovall, RB, Lancaster Paraclete

Frank Martin, OL, Santa Ana Mater Dei

Nathan Smith, OL, Murrieta Mesa

Daelin Hayes, LB, Ann Arbor (Mich.) Skyline

Mique Juarez, LB, North Torrance

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