Football | February 02, 2022
LOS ANGELES — Fourteen football players — 13 transfers and one high school player — have signed with the Trojan football program, new USC football head coach Lincoln Riley announced today (Feb. 2).
According to 247 Sports, USC is ranked No. 1 in the 2022 Transfer Rankings and 10th in the Overall Rankings.
The 2022 February signees alphabetically are: DL Earl Barquet, CB Mekhi Blackmon, WR Terrell Bynum, RB Travis Dye, OT Bobby Haskins, OLB Romello Height, RB Austin Jones, ILB Shane Lee, CB Latrell McCutchin, WR Brenden Rice, DL Tyrone Taleni, QB Caleb Williams, WR CJ Williams and WR Mario Williams.
These players will join seven high school players who signed with USC this past December to comprise USC’s 2022 signing class.
All 14 signees from the February signing period, as well as CB Domani Jackson from the December signing period, are enrolled in class for the spring semester and will participate in spring football. The others will join the team for fall camp.
Biographies of USC’s February and December signees are below.
CAREER: In his 2-year (2020-21) career at TCU, he had 21 tackles (3.5 for losses, with 2.5 sacks) while appearing in 16 games.
TCU: He had 12 tackles (1 for a loss) in 10 games as a sophomore defensive tackle at TCU in 2021.
As a 2020 redshirt freshman at TCU, he made 9 tackles, including 2.5 sacks, in 6 games.
He redshirted in 2019 in his first year at TCU.
HIGH SCHOOL: He made 2018 Louisiana Football Coaches Association All-State 5A honorable mention when he had 40 tackles (with 3.5 sacks), 2 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles as a senior defensive end at John Ehret High in Marrero (La.).
He made 2017 All-District 8-5A as a junior. A shoulder injury suffered late in his 2017 junior season slowed him during his 2018 senior campaign.
MEKHI BLACKMON — Cornerback, 6-0, 175, Sr.*/Sr., East Palo Alto, Calif. (Menlo-Atherton HS/College of San Mateo/Colorado)
CAREER: In his 4-year (2018-21) career at Colorado, he had 87 tackles, including 3 for losses (with 2 sacks), 13 deflections, a fumble recovery and 2 interceptions while appearing in 25 games (with 19 starts).
COLORADO: He made 2021 All-Pac-12 honorable mention and Pro Football Focus All-Pac-12 third team as a senior cornerback. Overall, he had 50 tackles, including a sack, plus 5 deflections, an interception and a fumble recovery while appearing in 9 games in 2021 (he missed the Oregon State, UCLA and Utah games with injuries) and starting 8 times (all but California). He had 5 tackles and an interception against Northern Colorado, 4 tackles, fumble recovery and deflection versus Texas A&M, 6 stops and a deflection against Minnesota, 7 tackles at Arizona State, 2 tackles against USC, 6 tackles and a deflection versus Arizona, 10 tackles at California, 5 tackles at Oregon and 5 stops and a deflection against Washington.
He had 19 tackles, including 1 for a loss, 4 deflections and an interception while starting all 6 games as a junior in 2020. He was 24th nationally in deflections (1.2, second in Pac-12). He had 3 tackles against UCLA, 4 tackles and 2 deflections at Stanford, 4 tackles versus San Diego State, 2 tackles and 2 deflections at Arizona, 3 stops and an interception against Utah and 3 tackles (with 1 for a loss) against Texas.
He saw action in 4 games at cornerback and on special teams (starting against Colorado State and Nebraska, then missed the Air Force game with an injury before appearing in the Arizona State and Arizona games) as a junior in 2019 before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the season and he was able to redshirt. Overall, he had 9 tackles, including a sack, plus a deflection. He had 4 tackles against Colorado State, 4 tackles with a sack versus Nebraska and a tackle and deflection at Arizona State.
As a 2018 sophomore while appearing in 6 games (Colorado State, New Hampshire, Arizona, Washington State, Utah, California) and starting 3 times (Arizona, Washington State, California), he had 9 tackles and 3 deflections. He had a deflection against New Hampshire, 4 tackles at Arizona, 2 tackles and a deflection against Washington State and 3 tackles and a deflection at California.
JUNIOR COLLEGE: He had 20 tackles, an interception, deflection and fumble recovery as a freshman at College of San Mateo (Calif.) junior college in 2017. CSM went 11-2 (its winningest record in program history) and advanced to the state championship game.
HIGH SCHOOL: He made 2016 San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro honorable mention and All-Conference as a senior wide receiver and defensive back at Menlo-Atherton High in Atherton (Calif.). In 2016, he had 23 receptions for 620 yards (27.0 avg) with 9 TDs on offense and 6 interceptions on defense.
He also played basketball at Menlo-Atherton.
PERSONAL: His cousin, KeeSean Johnson, was a wide receiver at Fresno State (2015-18) who set the school’s career receptions and receiving yardage records and then went to the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals (2019) and now the Philadelphia Eagles (2021-22).
TERRELL BYNUM — Wide Receiver, 6-1, 190, Sr.*/Gr., Long Beach, CA (St. John Bosco HS/Washington)
CAREER: In his 4-year (2018-21) career at Washington, he had 65 receptions for 934 yards (14.4 avg) with 6 TDs, ran for 87 yards on 7 carries (12.4 avg) and had 3 tackles while appearing in 34 games (with 19 starts).
WASHINGTON: He started 7 of the 8 games he played (he missed the Montana opener and the final 3 contests versus Arizona State, Colorado and Washington State with injuries and didn’t start the Michigan game) as a senior wide receiver in 2021. Overall in 2021, he had 26 receptions for 436 yards (16.8 avg) with 4 TDs and also had a 8-yard run and a tackle. He made 2021 All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
He caught 5 passes for a career-high 115 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown, at Michigan, then had 4 catches for 64 yards and a TD versus Arkansas State, 2 catches for 16 yards versus California, 5 catches for 61 yards (including a 44-yard touchdown) at Oregon State, 4 receptions for 28 yards versus UCLA, 5 catches for 143 yards (including a pair of 51-yarders) and a touchdown at Arizona, an 8-yard run at Stanford and a catch for 9 yards against Oregon.
He started the first 3 games of his 2020 COVID-19 pandemic-shortened junior season, but missed the fourth contest. Overall in 2020, he had 8 receptions for 130 yards (16.3 avg) and ran for 70 yards on 5 carries (14.0 avg). He had 4 receptions for 62 yards (both game highs) and added 33 yards on 2 carries versus Oregon State, then had a 20-yard catch and 13-yard run against Arizona and 3 catches for 44 yards along with 2 rushes for 24 yards versus Utah.
He appeared in all 13 games as a 2019 sophomore, with 8 starts. Overall in 2019, he had 31 catches for 368 yards (11.9 avg) with 2 TDs along with a 9-yard rush and 2 tackles. He had 2 catches for 23 yards against Eastern Washington, then had a 9-yard grab at Stanford, 6 catches for 43 yards against Oregon, 7 receptions for 68 yards versus Utah, 4 catches for 31 yards at Oregon State, 3 catches for 41 yards at Colorado, 3 receptions for 77 yards against Washington State (with a 16-yard TD) and 5 clutches for 67 yards with a TD versus Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
He saw action in 10 games (with a start at UCLA) as a redshirt freshman in 2018, but did not have a catch or rush.
He redshirted as a 2017 true freshman wide receiver.
HIGH SCHOOL: He made 2016 PrepStar All-American, Tacoma News-Tribune Western 100 and All-Trinity League first team as a senior wide receiver at St. John Bosco High in Bellflower (Calif.). He caught 58 passes for 737 yards (12.67 avg) with 7 TDs in 2016. St. John Bosco won the CIF Southern Section and CIF Open Division state championships.
He played for Servite High School in Anaheim as a 2014 sophomore and 2015 junior. He caught 39 passes for 611 yards (15.7 avg) with 3 TDs in 2015, earning All-Trinity League first team honors. He made 31 receptions for 391 yards (12.6 avg) with 5 scores as a 2014 sophomore.
He attended St. John Bosco as a 2013 freshman. He also ran track in high school.
TRAVIS DYE — Running Back, 5-10, 200, Sr.*/Gr., Norco, CA (Norco HS/Oregon)
CAREER: In his 4-year (2018-21) career at Oregon while appearing in 48 games (with 19 starts), he ran for 3,111 yards (fifth most in school history) on 521 carries (6.0 avg) with 21 TDs, caught 83 passes for 869 yards (10.5 avg) with 8 TDs, returned 15 kickoffs for 305 yards (20.3 avg), had 5 punt returns for 52 yards (10.4 avg), made 2 tackles and was 0-of-1 passing. He had 7 100-yard rushing games and 4,337 all-purpose yards in his career.
OREGON: Dye was Oregon’s rushing and receiving leader as a senior running back in 2021 while appearing in all 14 games, with 11 starts (all but Ohio State and Stanford). He made All-Pac-12 honorable mention and AP All-Pac-12 second team. He ran for 1,271 yards on 211 carries (6.0 avg) with 16 TDs and caught 46 passes for 402 yards (8.7 avg) with 2 TDs in 2021. His 1,672 all-purpose yards were the most in the Pac-12 in 2021. He ran for 64 yards on 13 carries with a TD and caught a 5-yard pass against Fresno State, then had 43 yards on 8 tries with a TD and also a 10-yard reception at Ohio State. He then ran for 87 yards on 15 carries with a TD and caught a 4-yard pass against Stony Brook, added 92 yards on 5 rushes and had a 22-yard reception versus Arizona and gained 96 yards on 19 carries and caught 4 passes for 39 yards at Stanford. He rushed for 145 yards on 19 carries with a TD and caught 7 passes for 73 yards against California (the first Pac-12 player since Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey in 2016 with at least 140 rushing yards and 70 passing yards in a game), had 35 yards on 14 attempts with 4 TDs (the touchdowns were on consecutive carries, an NCAA record) and grabbed 4 passes for 36 yards at UCLA, and ran for 47 yards on 13 carries with 2 TDs and caught 5 passes for 75 yards with a TD against Colorado. He rushed for a career-best 211 yards on 28 tries with a TD and had 2 receptions for 13 yards at Washington. He gained 88 yards on 18 carries with a TD and caught 6 passes for 25 yards with a TD against Washington State, then had 29 yards on 6 carries and caught a 6-yard pass at Utah, had 99 yards on 20 rushes with 2 TDs and 4 catches for 39 yards against Oregon State and 82 yards on 15 carries with a TD and 4 receptions for 27 yards versus Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game. He ran for 153 yards on 18 carries with a TD and caught 5 passes for 28 yards against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.
He made All-Pac-12 honorable mention as a 2020 junior when he appeared in all 7 games, with 3 starts (California, USC, Iowa State). He led Oregon in rushing with 443 yards on 64 carries (6.9 avg) with a TD and also had 9 receptions for 239 yards (26.6 avg) with a team-best 4 TDs and returned 3 punts for 40 yards (13.3 avg). He had 78 yards on 6 carries with a TD against Stanford, then had 54 yards on 5 tries, 2 receptions for 87 yards with 2 TD catches (including a 71-yarder) and a 6-yard punt return at Washington State. He had 40 yards on 10 carries, caught a 32-yard TD pass and returned 2 punts for 34 yards against UCLA. He ran for 93 yards on 12 carries at Oregon State. He rushed for 71 yards on 12 carries and caught 2 passes for 85 yards at California. He ran for 55 yards on 11 carries and had 3 receptions for 17 yards with a TD at USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game. He gained 52 yards on 8 carries and added an 18-yard reception against Iowa State in the Fiesta Bowl.
As a 2019 sophomore while appearing in all 14 games and starting 3 times (Montana, Oregon State, Utah), he ran for 658 yards on 106 carries (6.2 avg), had 16 receptions for 159 yards (9.9 avg) with a TD and returned 13 kickoffs for 276 yards (21.2 avg), giving him 1,093 all-purpose yards. He had 23 yards on 6 carries along with a 7-yard reception and a 24-yard kickoff return against Auburn, then 28 yards on 6 tries, 2 catches for 21 yards and 2 kickoff returns for 27 yards against Nevada. He had 101 yards on 17 carries, 2 catches for 21 yards and 2 kickoff returns for 27 yards versus Montana. He had a 1-yard carry, a 24-yard reception and a 22-yard kickoff return at Stanford. He rushed for 81 yards on 15 carries, caught a pass for minus 3 yards and had 2 kickoff returns for 52 yards against California. He had 54 yards on 3 rushes and a 21-yard kickoff return versus Colorado. He ran for 51 yards on 8 attempts, had 2 receptions for 9 yards and 2 kickoff runbacks for 41 yards at Washington. He gained 8 yards on 3 rushes and had a 24-yard kickoff return versus Washington State. He ran for 75 yards on 12 tries and caught 2 passes for 11 yards at USC. He rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries and caught 2 passes for 38 yards with a TD against Arizona. He gained 58 yards on 5 carries, had 2 receptions for 20 yards and returned a kickoff 19 yards at Arizona State. He had 91 yards on 12 carries and caught a 10-yard pass against Oregon State. He had 13 yards on 3 rushes against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game and had a 3-yard carry against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
Dye, who enrolled at Oregon in the spring of 2018 after graduating a semester early from high school, rushed for 739 yards on 140 carries (5.3 avg) with 4 TDs, caught 12 passes for 69 yards (5.8 avg) with a TD, returned 2 kickoffs for 29 yards (14.5 avg) and ran back 2 punts for 12 yards (6.0 avg) as a first-year freshman in 2018 while appearing in all 13 games, with 2 starts (Arizona State and Oregon State). He had a trio of 100-yard rushing outings. He had 37 yards on 7 carries, an 18-yard kickoff return and 1-yard punt return against Bowling Green, then had 58 yards on 4 carries with a TD, 2 receptions for 17 yards and an 11-yard punt return against Portland State. He ran for 16 yards on 7 carries and had a 4-yard catch versus Stanford, then rushed for 115 yards on 20 carries with a TD and had an 11-yard catch at California. He gained 67 yards on 15 attempts and caught a 7-yard pass against Washington, then had 3 rushes for minus 3 yards at Washington State. He ran for 23 yards on 5 carries and had 2 receptions for 19 yards at Arizona, then gained 12 yards on 5 tries and had a 7-yard catch against UCLA. He had 66 yards on 9 carries and caught 2 passes for 8 yards with a TD at Utah. He ran for 105 yards on 18 carries at Arizona State. He set an Oregon freshman game rushing yardage record with 199 yards on 33 carries with 2 TDs at Oregon State and also caught a 4-yard pass. He ran for 18 yards on 6 carries, caught a pass for minus 8 yards and had an 11-yard kickoff return against Michigan State in the San Francisco Bowl.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was 2017 All-CIF Division 2 and Big VIII League Offensive Player of the Year as a senior running back at Norco (Calif.) High when he ran for 2,383 yards on 255 carries (9.3 avg) with 34 TDs, with 9 games of 100-plus rushing yards, and also caught 13 passes for 135 yards (10.4 avg) with 2 TDs, had a 92-yard scoring kickoff return and made 3 tackles and a fumble recovery.
As a 2016 junior, he had 1,878 yards on 259 carries (7.3 avg) with 15 TDs, getting 8 100-yard rushing games, and also caught 29 passes for 465 yards (16.1 avg) with 6 TDs, completed 3 of 6 passes (50.0%) for 14 yards and had 2 kickoff returns for 21 yards (10.5 avg).
He ran for 844 yards on 94 attempts (9.0 avg) with 9 TDs and caught 16 passes for 162 yards (10.1 avg) with 1 TD as a 2015 sophomore.
He also played lacrosse at Norco.
PERSONAL: His brother, Troy, was a 4-year (2016-19) starting linebacker at Oregon (he led the Ducks in tackles each year) and now is with the Minnesota Vikings (2020-21). His brother, Tony, was a safety at UCLA (2008-11), where he started for 3 seasons and led the Bruins in tackles in 2010, and then played with the Cincinnati Bengals (2012-13); he also played hockey for Team USA in the Junior Olympics. His brother, Jordan, was a wide receiver at Sterling College (2015-17). His father, Mark, played football at San Jose State (1988-89) and spent time in the Houston Astros minor league system.
BOBBY HASKINS—Offensive Tackle, 6-7, 295, Sr.*/Sr., Fairfield, CT (Hun School/Virginia)
CAREER: In his 4-year (2018-21) career as an offensive tackle at Virginia, he played in 45 games (with 20 starts).
VIRGINIA: He started 7 games (and appeared in 10 games) at left tackle as a 2021 senior at Virginia, winning All-ACC honorable mention as well as ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for his performance against Duke.
He appeared in 8 games as a 2020 junior as a backup at the tackle positions and on special teams (he was slowed early in the season while recovering from an off-season injury).
He started 13 times (and appeared in 14 games) at left tackle as a 2019 sophomore.
He appeared in 13 games as a backup tackle and on special teams as a 2018 freshman. He enrolled at Virginia in the spring of 2018 after graduating a semester early from high school.
HIGH SCHOOL: He made the New Jersey Mid-Atlantic Prep League All-Star team and All-League first team as a 2017 senior offensive tackle and defensive end at the Hun School in Princeton (N.J.).
He spent his first 3 years of high school at Fairfield (Ct.) Prep, where he also played tight end.
He also played basketball at Fairfield Prep, helping the team to the 2015 state championship.
PERSONAL: His father, Bob, was a defensive end at Columbia (1978-80).
ROMELLO HEIGHT — Outside Linebacker, 6-3, 230, So./Jr., Dublin, GA (Dublin HS/Auburn)
CAREER: In his 2-year (2020-21) career at Auburn, he had 18 tackles, including 3 for losses, while appearing in 10 games.
AUBURN: He made 19 tackles, including 3 for losses, while appearing in 9 games (all but Mississippi, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Alabama) as a sophomore edge player in 2021 at Auburn. He had 3 tackles against Akron, 4 tackles (1 for a loss) versus Alabama State, 2 tackles (with 1.5 for losses) at Penn State, 1 tackle against Georgia State, 2 tackles at LSU, 4 tackles (0.5 for loss) at Arkansas, 1 tackle at South Carolina and 1 tackle against Houston in the Birmingham Bowl.
Height, who enrolled at Auburn in the spring of 2020 after graduating a semester early from high school, appeared in 1 game (LSU) as a first-year freshman in 2020 but did not make a tackle.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was 2019 MaxPreps Small Schools All-American first team, Georgia Class 2A Defensive Player of the Year and All-Region as a senior defensive end and wide receiver at Dublin (Ga.) High. He had 27 tackles for loss with 16 sacks, returned an interception 60 yards for a TD, recovered 2 fumbles and forced 2 fumbles in 2019, plus he caught 2 passes for 112 yards (56.0 avg) with a TD and returned a kickoff 43 yards (43.0 avg). Dublin won the Class AA state title in 2019.
He also played basketball at Dublin.
AUSTIN JONES — Running Back, 5-10, 195, Sr./Sr., Antioch, CA (Bishop O’Dowd HS/Stanford)
CAREER: In his 3-year (2019-21) career at Stanford, he ran for 1,155 yards on 278 carries (4.2 avg) with 12 TDs, caught 67 passes for 531 yards (7.9 avg) with 1 TD and returned 4 kickoffs for 60 yards (15.0 avg).
STANFORD: He ran for 378 yards (second on team) on a team-best 107 carries (3.5 avg) with 2 TDs, caught 32 passes for 267 yards (8.3 avg) with 1 TD while appearing in 11 games (all but UCLA) and starting 7 times (Kansas State, USC, Vanderbilt, Utah, Oregon State, California, Notre Dame) as a junior running back at Stanford in 2021. He had 25 yards on 9 carries and caught 4 passes for 30 yards against Kansas State, then had 13 yards on 10 rushes and 54 yards on 2 receptions at USC, 80 yards on 7 carries and a 9-yard reception at Vanderbilt, 30 yards on 9 tries and 1 yard on 2 catches versus Oregon, 13 yards on 7 carries and 43 yards on 5 receptions at Arizona State, 23 yards on 11 carries and 75 yards on 9 receptions with a TD at Washington State, 62 yards on 16 rushes and 20 yards on 2 catches against Washington, 33 yards on 9 carries and 6 yards on 2 catches against Utah, 36 yards on 10 tries and an 8-yard reception at Oregon State, 28 yards on 10 carries with a TD and 10 yards on 2 catches against California and 35 yards on 9 carries with a TD and 2 catches for 12 yards versus Notre Dame.
As a sophomore in 2020 while starting all 6 games, he made All-Pac-12 honorable mention and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 third team and won Stanford’s Deswarte-Eller Award (most outstanding sophomore) when he rushed for a team-high 550 yards on a team-best 126 carries (4.4 avg) with 9 TDs and caught 21 passes (second on team) for 156 yards (7.4 avg). His 9 rushing touchdowns were the second most nationally for teams who played 6 or fewer games. He ran for 100 yards on 20 carries with 2 TDs and had 2 catches for 22 yards at Oregon in his first career start, then had 9 yards on 9 carries with a TD and caught 7 passes for 48 yards against Colorado, rushed for 85 yards on 21 tries with 2 TDs and added 2 catches for 3 yards at California (to win Stanford’s Frank Rehm Award for the most outstanding player in the Big Game), had 138 yards on 31 carries with 2 TDs and 3 receptions for 28 yards at Washington, ran for 126 yards on 22 tries and grabbed 4 passes for 32 yards at Oregon State and gained 92 yards on 23 carries with 2 TDs and had 3 receptions for 23 yards at UCLA.
He appeared in all 12 games as a 2019 first-year freshman, getting 227 yards (second on team) on 45 carries (5.0 avg) with a TD and adding 14 receptions for 108 yards (7.7 avg) and 4 kickoff returns for 60 yards (15.0 avg). He had 1 yard on 1 carry against Northwestern, then had a carry for minus 2 yards and 2 receptions for 19 yards against USC, 65 yards on 7 carries and a 4-yard catch versus UCF, 20 yards on 3 tries and a 4-yard reception against Oregon, 2 yards on 2 rushes against Oregon State, 0 yards on 2 attempts and a 5-yard reception against Washington, 16 yards on 2 tries and an 8-yard catch versus UCLA, 32 yards on 7 carries and an 11-yard catch against Arizona, 30 yards on 5 tries and a 4-yard reception versus Colorado, 7 yards on 2 tries and 5 receptions for 29 yards against Washington state, 23 yards on 6 rushes and a tackle against California and 33 yards on 7 carries, a 24-yard catch and 4 kickoff returns for 60 yards against Notre Dame.
HIGH SCHOOL: He had 6,902 yards (No. 2 career rushing leader in Bay Area history) on 940 carries (7.3 avg) with 85 TDs and 77 receptions for 1,048 yards (13.6 avg) with 3 TDs in his career as a running back at Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland (Calif.). He was named to the MaxPreps California All-Decade second team.
As a 2018 senior running back and cornerback, he was MaxPreps All-California Medium Schools Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Medium Schools first team, All-CIF North Coast Section Senior of the Year San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro Player of the Year, East Bay Regional Player of the Year and Bay Area News Group All-Bay Area when he ran for 2,005 yards on 219 carries (9.2 avg) with 24 TDs and caught 27 passes for 378 yards (14.0 avg) with a TD, plus 32 tackles, 2 deflections, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble on defense. Bishop O’Dowd won the CIF North Coast Section Division II championship.
He ran for 1,560 yards on 150 carries (10.4 avg) with 23 TDs as a 2017 junior.
He made 2016 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American second team and All-North Coast Section Sophomore of the Year as he rushed for 1,967 yards on 322 carries (6.1 avg) with 27 TDs and caught 22 passes for 234 yards (10.6 avg) with 2 TDs. Bishop O’Dowd was the 2016 state champion.
He made 2015 All-CIF North Coast Section Freshman of the Year as he ran for 1,370 yards on 254 attempts (5.4 avg) with 12 TDs and caught 13 passes for 68 yards (5.2 avg).
He also was on Bishop O’Dowd’s track team.
PERSONAL: He was a 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-District and 2020 Pac-12 All-Academic Honor Roll selection. His brother, Anthony, played football at Troy (2005-06) and Jacksonville State (2007).
SHANE LEE — Inside Linebacker, 6-0, 245, Sr./Gr., Burtonsville, MD (St. Frances Academy/Alabama)
CAREER: In his 3-year (2019-21) career at Alabama, he made 96 tackles, including 8 for losses (with 6 sacks), plus an interception, 3 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a deflection while appearing in 29 games (with 13 starts).
ALABAMA: He appeared in 11 games (all but Miami, Mercer, Florida, Mississippi) as a 2021 junior middle linebacker and special teams performer at Alabama, getting 7 tackles, including 0.5 for loss. He had 2 tackles against Southern Miss, 3 tackles against Mississippi State, a tackle (with 0.5 for loss) versus New Mexico State and 1 tackle against Georgia in the CFP championship game.
As a 2020 sophomore, he appeared in 5 games (Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Arkansas) before being sidelined with a sports hernia injury. He had 3 tackles (with a sack) and a forced fumble. He had a tackle against Mississippi State and a sack and forced fumble versus Arkansas.
He was named to 2019 FWAA Freshman All-American, ESPN.com Freshman All-American and Freshman All-SEC as he had 86 tackles (second on the team), including 6.5 for losses (with 4.5 sacks), plus an interception, a deflection, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery while starting all 13 games. He had 6 tackles at Duke, 5 tackles and a fumble recovery versus New Mexico State, 8 tackles at South Carolina, 5 tackles (with a sack) against Southern Miss, 6 tackles against Mississippi, 8 tackles (with 0.5 sack) at Texas A&M, 6 tackles (with a sack) and a forced fumble against Tennessee, 6 tackles (including 2 for losses, with a sack) against Arkansas, 10 tackles versus Mississippi State, 7 tackles against Western Carolina, 7 tackles at Auburn and 9 tackles (with a sack) and a forced fumble against Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was ranked as the nation’s top inside linebacker by ESPN.com and made MaxPreps All-American second team and Capital-Gazette All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year, Varsity Sports Network Defensive Player of the Year as a 2018 senior at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore (Md.). He had 61 tackles, including 4.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 3 deflections and a fumble recovery in 2018.
He made 2017 MaxPreps Junior All-American first team and All-Metro as a junior when he had 78 tackles (with 2 sacks), 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. St. Frances went 13-0 and won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship.
As a sophomore in 2016, he attended St. John’s College High in Washington, D.C.
PERSONAL: He made the 2020 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll and received Alabama’s 2021 Commitment to Academic Excellence Award. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Alabama in the December of 2021.
LATRELL McCUTCHIN — Cornerback, 6-1, 185, Sr./So., Austin, TX (LBJ Early College HS/Oklahoma)
OKLAHOMA: McCutchin, who enrolled at Oklahoma in the spring of 2021 after graduating a semester early from high school, had 9 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and a deflection while appearing in 9 games (all but the final 4 contests versus Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Oregon) and starting once (Western Carolina) as a first-year freshman cornerback at Oklahoma in 2021. He had 1 tackle each against Tulane, Western Carolina and Nebraska, then had 2 tackles and a forced fumble against West Virginia, a tackle and forced fumble against TCU and a deflection at Kansas.
HIGH SCHOOL: He had 40 tackles, including 4 for losses, 3 interceptions, a forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries and 8 deflections on defense and 20 catches for 325 yards (16.3 avg) with 5 TDs on offense as a 2020 senior cornerback and wide receiver at LBJ Early College High in Austin (Tex.).
He suffered a season-ending knee ligament injury in the first game of his 2019 junior season.
He made 2018 Texas District 12-5A-I Offensive Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore when he had 16 receptions for 307 yards (19.2 avg) with 4 TDs.
He attended Manor (Tex.) High as a 2017 freshman, getting 27 tackles and an interception.
BRENDEN RICE — Wide Receiver, 6-3, 205, Jr./Jr., Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton HS/Colorado)
CAREER: In his 2-year (2020-21) career at Colorado, he had 27 receptions for 419 yards (15.5 avg) with 5 TDs, plus 19 kickoff returns for 506 yards (26.6 avg), an 81-yard scoring punt return and 6 carries for 54 yards (9.0 avg) while appearing in 17 games (with 12 starts). He had a pair of 100-yard receiving games in his career.
COLORADO: He was one of the Pac-12’s top wideouts and kick returners as a redshirt freshman in 2021. Overall while starting all 11 games he played in 2021 (he missed Utah with an injury), he had 21 receptions for 299 yards (14.2 avg), both second on the team, with 3 TDs, along with 17 kickoff returns for 469 yards (27.6 avg), both team highs, and 6 carries for 54 yards (9.0 avg). He ranked 14thnationally in kickoff returns (27.6 avg, third in Pac-12).
He had a 44-yard kickoff return against Northern Colorado, 2 catches for 10 yards against Texas A&M, 3 receptions for 25 yards and a 22-yard kickoff return against Minnesota, 2 catches for 9 yards, 2 kickoff returns for 37 yards and a 15-yard rush at Arizona State, a 17-yard reception and 15-yard kick return versus USC, 3 catches for 111 yards (with a 62-yard TD) and 2 carries for 9 yards against Arizona, a 6-yard grab and 2 kickoff returns for 87 yards at California, 5 catches for 102 yards with a TD, 6 kickoff returns for 162 yards and a 17-yard rush at Oregon, a 5-yard TD catch, 34-yard kickoff return and 2 rushes for 13 yards against Oregon State and 3 catches for 14 yards and 3 kick returns for 68 yards at UCLA.
As a first-year freshman in 2020 while appearing in all 6 games (with 1 start, versus Texas in the Alamo Bowl), he had 6 receptions for 120 yards (20.0 avg) with 2 TDs, 2 kickoff returns for 37 yards (18.5 avg) and an 81-yard punt return for a TD. He won Colorado’s Lee Willard Award on offense as the team’s top freshman. He had 1 catch for 5 yards against UCLA, then had 2 grabs for 38 yards at Stanford, including a 34-yard TD, and 2 receptions for 16 yards versus San Diego State. He had a 61-yard TD catch and 81-yard scoring punt return against Utah, along with 2 kickoff returns for 37 yards, to become the first Buffalo since 1987 with a scoring catch and return in a game. He made the 2020 National Football Foundation Academic All-Colorado first team.
HIGH SCHOOL: He made 2019 PrepStar All-West Region, MaxPreps All-Arizona first team and Arizona Republic All-Arizona as a senior wide receiver at Hamilton High in Chandler (Ariz.). In his career, he had 123 receptions for 2,139 yards (17.4 avg) with 27 TDs. As a senior in 2019, he had 49 catches for 851 yards (17.4 avg) with 9 TDs (with a quartet of 100-yard receiving outings) and an 8-yard scoring run on offense, plus 15 tackles and a deflection on defense and 12 kickoff returns for 244 yards (20.3 avg) and 6 punt returns for20 yards (3.3 avg) on special teams.
As a 2018 junior, he made All-Arizona as he had 49 receptions for 729 yards (14.9 avg) with 11 TDs on offense, and added 17 tackles and an interception on defense and 3 kickoff returns for 66 yards (22.0 avg) and 5 punt returns for 75 yards (15.0 avg) on special teams.
As a 2017 sophomore, he had 25 catches for 559 yards (22.4 avg) with 7 TDs and 6 kickoff returns for 53 yards (8.8 avg).
He also played basketball and was a sprinter on the track team (with a best of 10.78 in the 100 meters and 21.84 in the 200 meters for third place finishes at the 2019 state Division I meet) at Hamilton.
PERSONAL: His father is legendary College and Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, who starred at Mississippi Valley State (1981-84), where he was a 2-time All-American, and for the San Francisco 49ers (1985-2000), where he was on 3 Super Bowl champions (MVP in XXIII, plus XXIV, XXIX), Oakland Raiders (2001-04), Seattle Seahawks (2004) and Denver Broncos (2004) and set NFL records for career receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and receiving touchdowns (197). His brother, Qualen Cunningham, was a defensive end at Texas A&M (2014-17). His half-brother, Jerry Rice Jr., was a wide receiver at UCLA (2011-12) and UNLV (2013). His stepfather, Rick Cunningham, was an offensive lineman at Oregon State and Texas A&M (1988-89) and in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts (1990), Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals (1992094), Minnesota Vikings (1995), Oakland Raiders (1996-98) and in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes (2000, 2002) and Edmonton Eskimos (2001-02). He has done community service with the Feed My Starving Children non-profit organization.
TRAVIS TALENI — Defensive Line, 6-2, 275, Sr./Sr., Savai’i, American Samoa (Vaiola College HS/Mt. San Antonio JC/Kansas State)
CAREER: In his 2-year (2020-21) career at Kansas State, he had 5 tackles, including 2 sacks, while appearing in 10 games.
KANSAS STATE: He made 4 tackles, with a sack, while appearing in 7 games as a 2021 junior defensive tackle at Kansas State. He made the 2021 Academic All-Big 12 second team.
As a 2020 sophomore, he had a sack while appearing in 3 games.
JUNIOR COLLEGE: He played defensive line at Mt. San Antonio Junior College in Walnut (Calif.) as a 2019 redshirt freshman, getting 26 tackles (including 6 for losses, with 3.5 sacks) and a deflection.
HIGH SCHOOL: He did not play football at Vaiola College High in Savai’i, American Samoa.
PERSONAL: He went on a 2-year Mormon mission prior to enrolling at Mt. SAC. He played rugby as a youngster in American Samoa. He is one of the oldest Trojans (born on June 20, 1996).
CALEB WILLIAMS — Quarterback, 6-1, 215, So./So., Washington, D.C. (Gonzaga College HS/Oklahoma)
OKLAHOMA: Williams, who enrolled at Oklahoma in the spring of 2021 after graduating a semester early from high school, emerged as the Sooners’ starting quarterback by mid-season and proved to be one of the nation’s premier freshmen in 2021. Overall in 2021 while appearing in 11 games (all but West Virginia and Nebraska) and starting the last 7 contests (TCU, Kansas, Texas Tech, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Oregon), he completed 136-of-211 passes (64.5%) for 1,912 yards and 21 TDs with 4 interceptions and he ran for 442 yards on 79 carries (5.6 avg) with 6 TDs. His 1,670 passing yards and 18 passing touchdowns were the most ever by an OU true freshman. He had 200-plus passing yards 5 times, 3-plus passing TDs 4 times and 2-plus passing TDs 6 times.
He was a 2021 True Freshman All-American by ESPN, 247Sports, On3 and Pro Football Focus. He also was a 2021 semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Davey O’Brien National Quarterback and FWAA’s Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year awards. He made 2021 AP All-Big 12 second team and All-Big 12 honorable mention by the league’s coaches.
He had a 1-yard scoring run versus Tulane, his only rush or pass in his collegiate debut. He completed 5-of-10 passes for 84 yards and rushed 4 times for 60 yards (including a 59-yard run) against Western Carolina. He completed his only pass attempt (18 yards) at Kansas State. He led OU to its largest comeback victory in Red River Showdown history versus Texas when he entered late in the second quarter with the Sooners trailing, 35-17, and directed scoring drives on 7 of team’s final 9 possessions while finishing with 300 yards of offense (the most ever by an OU freshman against Texas) by completing 16-of-25 passes for 212 yards with 2 TDs rushing 4 times for 88 yards with a 66-yard TD run to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Week. In his first career start (the first Oklahoma true freshman to start at quarterback since Cale Gundy in 1990), he completed 18-of-23 passes for 295 yards with 4 TDs and rushed nine times for 66 yards with a score versus TCU (his 295 passing yards and 4 passing TDs were OU true freshman records and his 261 first-half passing yards were the most ever by an OU true freshman QB in any half) to earn Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. He completed 15-of-20 passes for 178 yards with 2 TDs and rushed 8 times for 70 yards with a score (40 yards) at Kansas. He completed 23-of-30 passes (including 22 of his final 25) for 402 yards with 6 touchdowns against Texas Tech (his 6 TD passes tied OU’s freshman record and were the most ever by an OU true freshman, and he became only the third Sooner with at least 6 passing TDs and no interceptions in a game, along with Heisman Trophy winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) to earn Davey O’Brien National QB of the Week and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. He was 9-of-18 for 142 yards and 2 interceptions and rushed for 17 yards on 10 tries with a TD at Baylor. He was 8-of-18 for 87 yards with a TD and ran for 67 yards on 12 carries with an OU season long 74-yard TD versus Iowa State. He completed 20-of-39 passes for 252 yards with 3 TDs and rushed for 36 yards at Oklahoma State. He hit 21-of-27 passes for 242 yards with 3 TDs and ran for 34 yards on 7 carries against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was ranked as the nation’s No. 1 player by SI All-American as a 2020 senior quarterback at Gonzaga College High in Washington, D.C. Gonzaga College did not play a fall 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was a 2-time (2018-19) All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection, winning MVP honors in 2019. He threw for 1,770 yards and 19 touchdowns as a 2019 junior while rushing for 838 yards and 18 scores.
He was named Gatorade District of Columbia Football Player of the Year and a MaxPreps Sophomore All-American in 2018 when he passed for 2,624 yards and 26 touchdowns.
CJ WILLIAMS — Wide Receiver, 6-2, 190, Fr./Fr., Santa Ana, CA (Mater Dei HS)
HIGH SCHOOL: He made 2021 PrepStar Dream Team, All-CIF Division 1 and Orange County Register All-Orange County first team as he had 46 receptions for 775 yards (16.8 avg) with 12 TDs and also returned 2 punts for 8 yards (4.0 avg) and had a 26-yard kickoff return as a senior wide receiver at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.). Mater Dei went 12-0 and won the 2021 national, state Open Division and CIF Southern Section Division I titles.
He made 2021 spring MaxPreps All-State second team and All-Trinity League first team as a junior when he had 16 catches for 239 yards (14.9 avg) with 5 TDs and returned 2 kickoffs for 35 yards (17.5 avg).
He made the 2019 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American second team, Cal-Hi Sports Sophomore All-State second team and All-Trinity League first team as he had 50 receptions for 684 yards (13.7 avg) with 4 TDs.
He caught 7 passes for 74 yards (10.6 avg) as a 2018 freshman.
MARIO WILLIAMS—Wide Receiver, 5-9, 185, So./So., Tampa, FL (Plant City HS/Oklahoma)
OKLAHOMA: Williams, who enrolled at Oklahoma in the spring of 2021 after graduating a semester early from high school, was one of the nation’s top true freshmen wide receivers in 2021 at Oklahoma. Overall in 2021 while appearing in 12 games (all but Kansas) and starting once (versus Oregon), he had 35 receptions (second on OU) for 380 yards (10.9 avg) with 4 TDs and he also returned 5 kickoffs for 108 yards (21.6 avg), had 2 rushes for 12 yards (6.0 avg), completed a 10-yard pass and had a tackle. He had 3-plus receptions in 7 contests. He made 2021 ESPN True Freshman All-American.
He had 6 receptions for 37 yards (with a 6-yard TD) and completed a 10-yard pass against Tulane. He then had 4 catches for 49 yards with a 10-yard TD versus Western Carolina. He had 3 catches for 29 yards and a 31-yard kickoff return against Nebraska. He had 4 catches for 34 yards, 2 kickoff returns for 41 yards and a 4-yard run against West Virginia. He made 3 catches for 29 yards at Kansas State, then added 3 grabs for 30 yards and a 19-yard kickoff return versus Texas. He had an 11-yard receptions against TCU, then 5 catches for 100 yards (with a 22-yard TD) against Texas Tech to winBig 12 Newcomer of the Week honors. He had 2 catches for 18 yards (with an 11-yard TD) and a 17-yard kickoff return versus Iowa State, then 2 catches for 10 yards at Oklahoma State and 2 grabs for 33 yards and an 11-yard rush versus Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was regarded as the country’s No. 1 wide receiver by ESPN as a 2020 senior at Plant High in Tampa (Fla.). In his career, he had 160 receptions for 3,191 yards (19.9 avg) with 41 touchdowns.
As a 2020 senior, he made MaxPreps All-Florida second team when he had 40 catches for 743 yards (18.6 avg) with 8 touchdowns, 5 carries for 55 yards (11.0 avg) and a 65-yard touchdown pass, as well as getting 3 tackles and an interception, returning 3 kickoffs for 141 yards (47.0 avg) and 2 punt returns for 22 yards (11.0 avg) and averaging 41.5 yards on 10 punts.
He had 27 catches for 795 yards (29.4 avg) with 9 scores, 9 carries for 112 yards (12.4 avg) with a TD and was 1-of-2 passing (50.0%) for 42 yards as a 2019 junior, plus he had 16 tackles, an interception and a deflection.
As a 2018 sophomore, he had 51 catches for 950 yards (18.6 avg) with 14 TDs plus 8 tackles and an interception and 2 kickoff returns for 121 yards (10.5 avg) with a TD and 3 punt returns for 118 yards (39.3 avg) with a TD to earn MaxPreps Sophomore All-America second team honors.
He caught 41 passes for 703 yards (16.7 avg) with 10 TDs as a 2017 freshman.
He also played baseball at Plant.
BRANCH — He made 2021 PrepStar Dream Team and Nevada Preps All-Southern Nevada first team as he had 42 tackles, including 2 for losses, and 7 deflections as a senior safety at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas (Nev.). Bishop Gorman won the 2021 state Class 5A championship. As a 2019 sophomore, he had 29 tackles, 5 interceptions with a TD), a fumble recovery, a deflection and a blocked field goal on defense and he returned 2 kickoffs for 49 yards (24.5 avg) and had a punt return for 15 yards (15.0 avg). As a 2018 freshman, he made 38 tackles, 3 deflections and an interception, plus he had a kickoff return for 38 yards (38.0 avg). His great uncle is the late Cliff Branch, the legendary receiver who played at Colorado and then 15 years with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (where he won 3 Super Bowls and made 4 Pro Bowls).
BROWN — He made 2021 PrepStar Dream Team, All-CIF Division 1 Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-Star first team and Orange County Register All-Orange County first team as he had 143 carries for 1,123 yards (7.9 avg) with 15 TDs and caught 12 passes for 107 yards (8.9 avg) as a senior running back at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.). Mater Dei went 12-0 and won the 2021 national, state Open Division and CIF Southern Section Division I titles. He made the 2021 spring MaxPreps All-State first team as a junior when he had 53 carries for 367 yards (6.9 avg) with 5 TDs and caught 8 passes for 85 yards (10.6 avg) on offense and recovered a fumble on defense. He made 2019 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American first team, Cal-Hi Sports Sophomore All-State first team and All-Sac-Joaquin Co-Sophomore of the Year as a running back, wide receiver and defensive back at Edison High in Stockton (Calif.), when he had 95 carries for 996 yards (10.5 avg) with 16 TDs and caught 34 passes for 667 yards (19.6 avg) with 9 TDs on offense, made 24 tackles (with 2 sacks) and had an interception, 4 deflections and a forced fumble on defense and had 6 kickoff returns for 127 yards (21.2 avg) and 12 punt returns for 235 yards (19.6 avg) with a TD. He made 20189 MaxPreps Freshman All-American first team as he had 158 carries for 1,688 yards (10.7 avg) with 18 TDs and caught 31 passes for 741 yards (23.9 avg) with 9 TDs on offense, had 37 tackles (with 2 sacks), 2 interceptions with a TD, 2 deflections and a forced fumble on defense and had 4 kickoff returns for 50 yards (12.5 avg) and 6 punt returns for 91 yards (15.2 avg).
JACKSON — He made 2021 PrepStar Dream Team despite missing most of his senior season as a cornerback at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.) due to a knee injury suffered in the season opener (he had 3 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown in that game). Mater Dei went 12-0 and won the 2021 national, state Open Division and CIF Southern Section Division I titles. He made the 2021 spring MaxPreps All-State first team and All-Trinity League first team as a junior when he had 10 tackles, an interception for a TD and 3 deflections and returned a kickoff 5 yards (5.0 avg). He made the 2019 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American first team, MaxPreps All-State second team, Cal-Hi Sports Sophomore All-State first team, Orange County Register All-Orange County second team and All-Trinity League second team with 48 tackles, 9 deflections, an interception and a fumble recovery and also had a punt return for 6 yards (6.0 avg). He made the 2018 MaxPreps Freshman All-American first team as he had 14 tackles, 2 interceptions (1 for a TD) and 3 deflections. He also ran track at Mater Dei and tied the state record in the 100 meters (first set in 1985) with a 10.25 clocking while winning the unofficial 2021 California state meet (it was the second fastest time in the nation in 2021); he also anchored the 400-meter relay team to a second place finish. He won the 2021 CIF Division 2 100 meters title in 10.48 and anchored the runner-up 400-meter relay squad.
MADDEN — He made the 2021 All-Region 4-AAAAA first team as a senior outside linebacker and wide receiver at Dutchtown High in Hampton (Ga.). He didn’t start playing football until his 2020 junior season. He also was on the basketball and track teams at Dutchtown, with bests of 10.71 in the 100 meters and 22.22 in the 200 meters. He was third in the 100 and sixth in the 200 and anchored the winning 400-meter relay quartet at the 2020 Georgia Class 5A Championships.
ROSS — He made 2021 PrepStar All-American and Nevada Preps All-Southern Nevada first team as he had 24 tackles, 3 interceptions and 7 deflections as a senior cornerback at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas (Nev.). Bishop Gorman won the 2021 state Class 5A championship. As a 2019 sophomore, he had 20 tackles, 3 interceptions (with a TD) and 3 deflections. He had 3 tackles as a 2018 freshman. He also was on the track team at Bishop Goran, with bests of 52.34 in the 400 meters and 18-9.5 in the long jump
THOMPKINS — He made 2021 PrepStar All-Western Region as he had 9 tackles, 2 deflections and a fumble recovery on defense and caught 3 passes for 24 yards (8.0 avg) on offense as a senior defensive end and tight end at Edison High in Stockton (Calif.). He also played basketball at Edison. He had not played football since the sixth grade, and instead concentrated on basketball. He spent his first 3 years of high school at St. Mary’s High in Stockton, where he played basketball and averaged 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds as a 2021 junior after averaging 7.9 points and 6.4 rebounds as a 2020 sophomore. His uncle, Larry Grant, played linebacker City College of San Francisco (he was the 2005 NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year), at Ohio State (2006-07) and in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers (2008, 2011-12), St. Louis Rams (2008-10), Chicago Bears (2013) and Cleveland Browns (2013), and now is a defensive analyst at UNLV.
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