USC Football Transfer Portal: Top Defensive Linemen Available After Missing Derrick Harmon

Credit: Cody Scanlan/Holland Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Once Isaiah Raikes entered the transfer portal after a one-quarter stint with USC football, the Trojans instantly needed more talent on the defensive line.

Entering the Spring Portal period, there were some big-name players that the USC Trojans were seemingly in on, but were not able to land. Damonic Williams from TCU had ties to LA (played high school football with Miller Moss), but he just recently committed to Oklahoma.

Derrick Harmon was the last 4-star DL available, and after USC was listed as one of the top contenders, it was announced yesterday that he was committing to Oregon. Oregon was able to land 2 of the top-10 defensive linemen in the portal.

We talked recently on the Salute To Troy Pod that USC football likely would not get into a bidding war with other schools, and that seems to be exactly what the case was. Still, the Trojans are going to need to add another body to the room. They have some great young talent in Jide Abasiri and Carlon Jones, but they need another veteran to play alongside Bear Alexander and Nate Clifton.

Here is a look at the top DL players still in the transfer portal.

USC Football Defensive Line Targets

CJ West – Kent State

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal

West comes from a smaller program but his three years of experience and production should be welcomed by USC fans. The 6’2, 315-pound Senior finished last season with 40 combined tackles, 2 sacks, and one forced fumble.

West is the perfect size to play the 0-tech so then Bear and Clifton can play at the 3-tech spots. He also fits the build of what Coach Henderson looks for in a nose tackle.

Jay’viar Suggs – Grand Valley State

Syndication: | USC Football Transfer Portal Targets
Credit: Cody Scanlan/Holland Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Suggs is another small school product, but one that had tremendous production as a two-year starter. Over that period, Suggs recorded 42 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, and 9 passes defended. Suggs would have to bulk up a bit, most likely, if they wanted him to play the true 0-tech. Currently, he is listed at 6’3, 282. USC did officially offer Suggs, and he is set to make an official visit.

Both West and Suggs would be my top two targets for USC football. If fans are worried about the fact that they are coming from smaller schools, just look to the Los Angeles Rams 2024 NFL Draft. Both of their top picks, Jared Verse and Braden Fiske, played at small schools before transferring to Florida State where they became stars.

Both West and Suggs will be hungry to play for a premier program, grow their draft profile, and won’t just be chasing the NIL money. What better place to grow your draft profile than with Eric Henderson?

Brandon Lane – SF Austin

Lane is another small school product with a little bigger size at 6’3, 300 pounds. Lane finished last season with 45 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Another option for the Trojans who would bring good size and production with him.

Out of these three portal prospects, who would you like USC Football to add to the roster?