As the USC Trojans prepare for the 2015 College Football Season, they will be aided by new offensive line recruit Chuma Edoga.
(C+P) — Cardinal and gold pageantry in USC’s sun-splashed Coliseum, the splendid Trojan Band playing the goosebumps inducing “Fight On,” and star-spangled skilled players on offense and defense are what make college football Saturdays so special.
With a lineage that includes offensive line Hall of Famers such as Ron Mix, Anthony Munoz, Ron Yary, Marvin Powell and Bruce Matthews, USC’s superb O-line history has proved the adage that games are won and lost in the trenches. A team’s season goals are unlikely to be accomplished without skilled blocking, strong protection, consistency and technical physicality that the offensive line provides.
With a full complement of 25 scholarships available to kick-start Steve Sarkisian’s second season, “Sark” and his staff rocketed USC to the top of the college football recruiting universe with the #1 nationally ranked class (according to Rivals).
Among the terrific 2015 signees are three stellar offensive linemen who will add quality depth. The player who has the most potential is Chuma Edoga labeled with numerous “All This” and “All That” honors.
Edoga is a 6’4” 280, guard from McEachern H.S. in Powder Springs Georgia. Edoga enrolled at USC in early January and is currently taking classes. He will participate in spring practices that begin March 3 and culminate with the April 11 spring game in the Coliseum. Rivals.com had him listed with 21 offers from Power 5 programs and ranked him as the nation’s second best guard. ESPN.com ranked Edoga 21st among their Top 300 players.
When big offensive lineman have descriptors like “athletic,” “explosive,” “nasty,” and “phenomenal,” it is time to pay close attention.
Edoga’s bio on goarmy.com for the U.S. Army All-American Game said the following:
“Edoga possesses some nastiness and tons of upside. One of the best pass protectors in this class, Edoga has a phenomenal set of feet and athleticism for an offensive lineman. He utilizes a combination of balance and lateral mobility to keep defenders in front of him. Because of his size and explosiveness out of his stance, he’s very tough to shed in the run game.”
How did one of the best players in the state of Georgia end up with the Trojans? On December 31st, 2014, Atlanta Constitution Journal writer Michael Carvel wrote this statement:
“There were many reasons, but what really sealed the deal is that Edoga’s aunt and uncle live in the Los Angeles area.”
There is no question Edoga is academically motivated with thoughts about his future, having graduated from high school and already enrolled and taking classes at USC. In 2013, risingseniors.com (Oct. 27, 2013) noted that Edoga’s “favorite subject in high school is Physics. In college, Chuma would like to major in Aeronautic Engineering or Economics. Once his football career is over, he would like to become an Aeronautic Engineer or airplane pilot.”
Trojan head coach Steve Sarkisian’s “Sark Bite” summed up Edoga’s physical attributes and potential:
“Chuma is an elite offensive lineman with unbelievable athleticism for a man that big. I think he is the future of the position.”
Edoga is a gifted combination of physical skills and intellect. It is certainly very early. However, it is not beyond possibility that we’ll see this 2015 elite recruit mature into another Trojan O-line legend. At the very least, he should be a significant contributor to the lineage.
The 2014 Trojan O-line struggled at times. It was not from lack of talent, but from inexperienced freshmen starters whose sudden roles were necessitated by injury and/or the depleted depth from scholarship limits.
Barring significant injuries, the return of experienced O-line starters with the addition of the quality 2015 newcomers will be an important step forward from 2014, strengthening the Trojan’s progress toward their return to elite national status.