After losing 5-star Bru McCoy to Texas, USC’s recruiting class — already its worst of this century — has suffered yet another late defection. This one came in a more conventional fashion, though at a less conventional time.
4-star wide receiver Puka Nacua on Sunday night announced he would renege on his commitment to USC in order to sign with Washington. Unlike 4-star wideout Koy Moore, Nacua is a member of the Class of 2019, allowing Clay Helton and company no time to change Nacua’s mind. He waited five extra days past Wednesday’s traditional Signing Day in order to make up his mind once and for all.
“Every school is a great opportunity to pursue football and continue my education, but I felt like University of Washington is the best fit for me,” Nacua said on KSL-TV on Sunday night. “I’m excited to head up to Seattle.”
The Orem, Utah, native boosts what is already viewed as the best recruiting class in Washington history. The 23-man group includes 15 4-stars and ranks No. 16 in the 247Sports Composite rankings. With the loss of Nacua, USC’s 2019 class includes two more players than Washington’s, but eight fewer 4-stars. The Trojans will finish the 2019 cycle at No. 20 nationally — again, the worst in recruiting’s modern era for the Men of Troy.
There is some good news though: this stone has finally sunk to the bottom of the creek. Probably.
Signing Day 2.0 arrives Wednesday, and USC isn’t exactly sprinting toward the finish line.
The Trojans already witnessed 5-star Bru McCoy reverse out of Heritage Hall after two weeks on campus, and now they’ve lost a player who figured to profit from his departure after 4-star wideout Koy Moore announced his decommitment.
“My relationship with USC became strained with the coaching changes,” Moore wrote in a note posted to his Twitter account. “I enjoyed my time as a #FightOn commitment, I love USC but the recruitment is not up to my expectations. I would like to re-open my recruitment.”
Looking past what exactly Moore seems to be seeking in his college experience, Moore’s announcement is a shot across the bow of Clay Helton‘s attempted salvage of his tenure as the Trojans’ head coach. Tee Martin was USC’s most effective recruiter — and Moore’s lead recruiter — though his loss was mitigated by the promise of Kliff Kingsbury. Graham Harrell simply does not have the name-recognition of the last two Trojans offensive coordinators, and Helton isn’t enough to a draw to hold together the class by himself.
Moore is a member of the class of 2020, so his recruitment won’t affect the Trojans’ immediate prospects, but it’s still a sign that USC’s pitiful 2018 season seems to have gotten worse instead of better as the calendar flipped to 2019. USC will ink the No. 18 recruiting class on Wednesday according to the 247Sports composite rankings, its worst of the modern era, and it appears the next class won’t be any kinder.