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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Local three-star OL Austin lands offer

By Blair Angulo

Three-star 2014 offensive lineman Jordan Austin (Claremont, Calif./Claremont) had to hit the books Wednesday morning and had football practice later in the afternoon, so he didn’t have an opportunity to compete in USC’s Rising Stars Camp.

Still, Austin dropped by campus at the request of assistant coaches James Cregg and Mike Summers.

It’s a good thing he did.

Austin, who was a standout at USC’s lineman camp on June 8, landed perhaps his biggest scholarship offer to date from the Trojans.

“I had a limited time frame with my schedule, so I wanted to pop in and take an unofficial visit to see how everything was going,” Austin said. “They had been talking about possibly making an offer soon. I walked in and talked to coach Cregg and coach Summers, and they brought me into the main conference room where all the coaches were. They offered me as a staff. I was speechless. It was amazing.”

The 6-foot-5, 273-pound Austin nearly committed on the spot.

“To be honest, I would have given my verbal commit right there, but my mom wasn’t with me,” Austin said. “It was only my dad and my little brother, and I want to talk to my mom first and include the whole family in my decision. I’m only 17 years old, so I need as much wisdom as I can get. I’ll talk to my mom about it when she gets back from school, and I’m looking at a verbal commit soon.”

The Trojans are in great shape for Austin, who has offers from Arizona, Colorado, Fresno State, Harvard, Nevada, San Diego State and Washington.

“My mom is going to approve 100 percent, but I just want to include her in the decision,” Austin said. “USC fits all of her qualifications. She’s big on academics. If you walk away with USC degree, you have the keys to Southern California. I’m graduating from high school a semester early, so I’ll be ahead of the game academically. That’s even a bigger plus. Proximity wise, it’s so close to home that my family could be at every home game. It’s the perfect situation, so I’m sure she’s going to approve.”

Austin didn’t grow up a USC fan, but that’s because he just recently began following college football. His family is originally from Pennsylvania and big supporters of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles.

USC has verbal commitments from two offensive linemen -- guard Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) and tackle Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day School) -- and Austin appears ready to join the group sooner rather than later.

“The coaches seem to really care about how they want to mold me,” Austin said. “They told me I’m going to make a big impact on the team. I know there’s so much more for me to learn. I’m just a pup in the game, and I know a school like that is going to mold me to be the best offensive tackle I can be. If I work hard, I can be a big-time prospect in the college game. When it comes down to recruiting, if I commit somewhere, it means I’ve evaluated that school to all the limits, and that’s where I want to go.”