Big USC recruiting weekend leads to five new defensive commits

Following a big weekend of visitors on campus, the Trojans picked up five new commits, all on the defensive side of the ball.

LOS ANGELES — After a relatively quiet start to the 2025 recruiting cycle, USC is officially out in full force.

Following a weekend in which they hosted numerous high-profile visitors on campus, the Trojans picked up not one, not two, not three, not four, but five new commitments on Sunday. All five commitments came on the defensive side of the ball—particularly notable given that USC has struggled to recruit defense in previous cycles.

The first to commit was five-star defensive lineman Justus Terry, who flipped his pledge from his hometown school Georgia to USC early Sunday morning. On3, ESPN, and Rivals all rank Terry as a top ten player in the class of 2025, with 247 Sports ranking him just outside at No. 13. He is also the consensus No. 2 defensive lineman in the class.

Next up was four-star defensive end Isaiah Gibson. Like Terry, Gibson also comes to USC from the Peach State. According to On3 Consensus, which combines the rankings of all four major services, Gibson is the No. 37 overall player and the No. 2 defensive end in his class.

USC’s third 2025 commit of the day was four-star safety Hylton Stubbs. Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, On3 Consensus ranks him as the No. 67 overall player and the No. 6 safety in his class.

Terry, Gibson, and Stubbs would soon be joined by three-star defensive lineman Gus Cordova. Per On3 Consensus, the Austin, Texas native is the No. 438 overall player and the No. 40 defensive lineman in the class of 2025.

Finally, the Trojans also got a head start on their 2026 recruiting class with the commitment of four-star cornerback Dominick Kelly. Coming out of Tampa, Florida, On3 Consensus ranks him as the No. 167 overall player and the No. 15 safety in his class.

Much of the recruiting bump can be attributed to new defensive line coach/co-defensive coordinator Eric Henderson. Head coach Lincoln Riley made waves in January when he hired Henderson away from the Los Angeles Rams, where he served as the defensive line coach for the past five seasons. A little over two months into his USC tenure Henderson is already making a strong impression on recruits.

Of course, having the help of one of the greatest defensive linemen of all time certainly didn’t hurt, either. With numerous high profile recruits on campus this weekend, Henderson brought in a special guest: none other than future Pro Football Hall of Famer Aaron Donald himself.

Henderson coached Donald for five seasons when he was with the Rams. With the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year having recently retired, he has time to hang out with Henderson and help him recruit the next generation of defensive linemen to USC.

Following the big weekend, USC moved up to No. 3 in the 2025 On3 team recruiting rankings. Only Ohio State and LSU currently have higher-rated classes than the Trojans. This comes despite USC having just five commits in its 2025 recruiting class—the other five schools ranked in the top six all have at least six.

With class of 2025 recruits not eligible to sign until December, USC still has a long way to go in terms of keeping its top prospects committed and landing other ones. But the Trojans are off to a red hot start, which is very encouraging sign for USC fans as the schools gets set to join the Big Ten this summer.