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USC Football: Trojans Make Top Schools List for Elite Linebacker Out of Kansas

A good sign for a recently rebuilt Trojan recruiting department.

USC is one step closer to adding a second commitment in their 2025 recruiting class. Today, Blue Valley (Stilwell, KS) four-star outside linebacker Dawson Merritt announced that USC is one of 9 other programs on which he'll be focusing his recruitment moving forward. 

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound defender is one of the best prospects not only in his state but also at his position, impressive considering he started playing football just two years ago as a freshman in high school. 

Hayes Fawcett broke the news on X/Twitter that in addition to USC, Merritt is also considering Alabama, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Missouri, Florida State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Michigan, and Kansas. 

Merritt falls between #50 and #100 in terms of overall ranking for recruits in the class of 2025 in pretty much all the major recruiting rankings (ESPN, Rivals, 247 Sports, and On3). According to the Underclassmen Report, he tallied up over 80 tackles (17 for a loss), to go along with seven sacks and three forced fumbles. 

The athletic defender played as a stand-up defensive end during his junior season at Blue Valley High School, and based on his body composition, that is likely the position he'll play at the next level. At a lean 6-foot-3 right now, he'll likely add weight at the next level to be able to set the edge against Division One offensive tackles. 

According to Allen Trieu of 247 Sports, he's got three official visits lined up to Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma with a plethora of unofficials on the books as well. He would be a huge get for a USC defense that has seen better days.