After announcing earlier today that North Dakota State Head Coach Matt Entz had been hired on as the new Linebackers Coach and Assistant Head Coach of the Defense, the USC Trojans made another splash by getting a USC transfer portal commit.
Clifton has one year of eligibility remaining and will enroll in January.
If you ask our resident coach at the LAFB Network, and co-host of Salute To Troy, Al Rowe, one-year rentals are not how you build this program for sustained success. However, with the state of the defense, it is necessary this offseason to get some talented players who can come in and have an immediate impact.
Nate Clifton’s Impact For The USC Trojans
Clifton, standing 6-5 and weighing 280 pounds, is a four-star prospect in the 247Sports Transfer Portal Rankings, the No. 48 overall transfer and the No. 5 defensive lineman. Clifton had offers from Washington and Auburn in addition to USC.
2024 USC Trojans Transfer Portal Tracker
Clifton is a former three-star offensive tackle, but transitioned to the defensive line and now brings a bevy of experience with him boasting 37 starts over 43 games in the SEC. He started 12 games this past season recording 30 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and a team-high 5.5 sacks, and 18 pressures. He has garnered 93 career tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks.
Perhaps the most important thing that Clifton brings to USC is his versatility. In D’Anton Lynn’s first press conference, he talked about the importance of getting players who are versatile and can play in multiple spots.
“Honestly, I play all over,” Clifton told Dawgman.com last week. “Under coach ‘Nokes’ in 2021, I played defensive end. Then last year, 2022, I played defensive end. This year, I played all over the line. Some games I played three-tech, some games I played end, but all throughout the entirety of my college career, I’ve played the 4i (lining up on the inside shoulder of the tackle). When I say I can play anywhere, I truly mean I can play anywhere.”
Sunday was a good day for the USC Trojans defense, and it sounds like Lincoln Riley and his staff are just getting started.