One of the bigger storylines that has developed over the last few recruiting classes has been USC losing it’s once iron-fisted grip on the top prospects in their talent-rich backyard. Not only have national powers like Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State started coming in and grabbing guys, but their conference rivals like Washington and, especially, Oregon have started to do more than cherry pick some of the best of the best from the region.
Case in point came in the latest big coup for the Ducks as five-star Upland (Calif.) linebacker Justin Flowe donned the ‘O’ logo on ESPN and commited to Mario Cristobal’s program.
Oregon is the new Usc in recruiting on the West Coast… back in my day no one dared to recruit So Cal. Now it’s open season and Oregon is hunting!
— Matt Leinart (@MattLeinartQB) December 18, 2019
Flowe is the most dominant LB I’ve seen come out of CA since DJ Williams back in 2000, size, toughness, physicality, quickness and instincts, plays with a rare edge and anger that jumps out the second you see him
— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) December 18, 2019
The commitment from the 6-foot-2, 225 pounder comes on the heels of Oregon landing No. 1 overall prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux out of Southern California last year. The latter came on strong for the team as a true freshman in 2019, making numerous plays as a terror off the edge at defensive end for the Ducks in helping them capture the Pac-12 title and earn a Rose Bowl berth.
Now Cristobal can add Flowe to the mix right behind Thibodeaux, bringing in what most recruiting services consider to be a top 10 overall prospect and the top linebacker on the board to a defense that will need somebody to replace the production being lost with captain Troy Dye leaving to graduation.
Clemson was heavily in the mix for Flowe during most of his recruitment and both programs had to withstand several charges from local power USC as well. In the end though, the impressive recruiting machine out of Eugene claimed another big win in Southern California as the landscape certainly seems to have shifted in the Southland.