El Cerrito (Calif.) linebacker D.J. Calhoun (6-0, 201), knew he was going to play his college football in Los Angeles.
For a while, though, it looked like it would be at UCLA.
But once USC offered him in March, and a subsequent visit to Troy in April left him wowed, the Trojans moved even and eventually past their rivals.
On Wednesday night at The Opening, the four-star announced his commitment to the Trojans.
“USC is it for me,” said Calhoun. “Just going to the school, the tradition, the campus lifestyle is great and that’s really the main thing and getting a degree from USC is amazing.”
Calhoun said that both the coaches recruiting him, Mike Ekeler at USC and Jeff Ulbrich at UCLA, made a compelling case.
“It made it hard between Coach Ekeler and Coach Ulbrich because they’re like twins and I loved both coaches, but USC was just a better fit for me,” said Calhoun.
The first time Calhoun visited USC as a recruit was for Junior Day in February, but he left without an offer. When he returned to Southern California, he had an offer, and the Trojans started their surge.
“The first visit, it didn’t impress me when I went for Junior Day and I wasn’t really showing any interest,” said Calhoun. “But then when I took the visit again down there, I liked it a lot. I was there with a couple of my guys too. I was like ‘man, it’s USC.”
Calhoun’s sister, Deanna Calhoun, plays basketball for the Trojans and Calhoun said she was doing her part too.
“She’d been trying to push SC forever and that was actually a big factor for me,” said Calhoun.
And now Calhoun can enter his senior year, where El Cerrito has a chance to make a run for the state bowl games, free from worrying about recruiting.
“It’s a giant weight off my shoulders,” said Calhoun. “It’s big and I’m not going to take any other visits. I want to focus on my season, focus on my grades and graduating early.”
Calhoun said he’s also already working on teammate Adarius Pickett and close friend Joe Mixon, both USC targets.
“Joe and Adarius, you have to know I’m going USC 24/7 on them,” said Calhoun. “I’m already telling Joe and Adarius, ‘meet me there’. I know we all want to go to school there. I’m telling everyone too.”