USC is in the middle of compiling a top-10 recruiting class, and the Trojans picked up a key prospect on Sunday afternoon.

The player is Hayden Lowe, a 4-star edge prospect out of Oaks Christian in Westlake Village, California. A 6-foot-4 and 242-pound defender, Lowe was hotly pursued before selecting the Trojans over offers from Texas, Washington and UCLA.

According to the 247 Sports Composite, Lowe is a 4-star recruit and the 19th edge prospect in the nation. He’s also the 23rd player out of California for the cycle, giving the Trojans 3 in-state players for the cycle to this point.

Impact for USC

Lowe’s commitment gives USC 13 hard pledges for the 2025 recruiting class. So far, that group ranks 4th nationally per the 247 Sports Team Composite, including a trio of 5-star players. Defensive lineman Justus Terry, quarterback Julian Lewis and DL Isaiah Gibson comprise those 5-star prospects and all 3 hail from Georgia.

If USC can finalize a top-5 recruiting class, it would be a massive win for head coach Lincoln Riley.

In 2024, the Trojans finished with the 17th overall recruiting class, but they were in the top 10 in 2023 with the No. 8 overall class. As for the top 5, you have to go all the way back to 2018 to find the last time USC compiled a high school recruiting class of that caliber.

The 2018 recruiting class was headlined by players such as QB JT Daniels, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, LB Palaie Gaoteote IV and ATH Talanoa Hufanga. Unfortunately, that group did not produce big results under Clay Helton before USC parted ways with the coach early in the 2021 season.