Elite offensive lineman Josh Conerly picks Oregon over USC
USC fans and national recruiting experts expected Lincoln Riley to do it again.
Having already landed several Oklahoma players in the transfer portal, having returned several commitments to Oklahoma on the recruiting track, and having created a major transfer portal pipeline to Los Angeles to radically redo the USC roster 2022, Lincoln Riley was supposed to take another big step. forward as head coach of USC. He was supposed to land the crown jewel offensive lineman in the 2022 class, the anchor at the tackle position who would play a lot of snaps and instantly elevate the quality of the offensive line.
Instead, Oregon and new coach Dan Lanning came in late and stunned Riley and the recruiting world by nabbing a coveted prospect.
Josh Conerly, a five-star offensive tackle from Seattle who is – according to 247Sports — The nation’s No. 15 rookie, No. 2 offensive tackle and Washington State‘s No. 1 prospect, made his long-awaited college decision on Friday. He chose Oregon on his home state Washington Huskies and USC.
When Conerly paid a late visit to Eugene during his recruitment. it didn’t seem like a game changer, but it was. Conerly picked the Ducks not just over USC and Washington, but over Miami, Michigan and Oklahoma. They were among other schools that reached out to Conerly.
Conerly’s value was huge to USC. The Trojans had just 13 scholarship offensive linemen before Friday, and just eight able-bodied offensive linemen in spring training. They are extremely thin at this position group. Conerly was going to provide instant relief in the position room. He would have had the chance to reap his fair share of shots and reduce the workload of other linemen.