Heading into the 2024 season, the USC Trojans desperately needed to add some size to the defensive line. Bear Alexander will be back after a stellar 2023 season, but he doesn’t have the size to play the true nose tackle position that D’Anton Lynn may want to deploy as we saw evident at UCLA with Jay Toia.
After a weekend visit to USC, former Texas A&M nose tackle Isaiah Raikes has committed to the Trojans.
Nose Tackle Isaiah Raikes Commis to USC Trojans
At 6’2, 320 pounds, Raikes will be the biggest body on the Trojans defensive line, filling a huge need. Raikes finished with 17 tackles, 3 for loss, last season for the Aggies. He saw action in 12 games, starting one. In his career in College Station, he played in 42 games and garnered 43 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.
According to On3.com, Raikes was deciding between Auburn and USC and ultimately committed to SC after his weekend visit. He has one year of eligibility remaining as a grad transfer.
2024 USC Trojans Transfer Portal Tracker
Raikes joins former Texas A&M teammate Anthony Lucas on a defensive line that will look very different for the Trojans in 2024. The aforementioned Bear Alexander will be returning at DT, but Kyon Barrs, Jack Sullivan, and Stanley Ta’ufo’ou will all be gone due to graduation.
One of USC’s first transfer portal commits defensive end Nate Clifton, will also be vying for a starting spot, along with 2024 high school commits Carlon Jones and Jide Abasiri.
Aside from the quarterback position, the big point of conversation this offseason as USC heads to the Big Ten has been the trenches. It was announced yesterday that offensive tackle Jonah Monheim would be returning in 2024, and USC has recruited the offensive line well over the past two cycles.
Isaiah Raikes is a big get as Lincoln Riley looks to fortify his defensive line. He still has work to do, but getting a commitment from Raikes is a step in the right direction.