College Football
USC football loses two five-star defensive recruits in back-to-back days
College Football

USC football loses two five-star defensive recruits in back-to-back days

Updated Jun. 20, 2024 12:53 a.m. ET

USC's long-term aspirations of turning around its defense took a big blow this week after a pair of five-star defensive line recruits decommitted from the Trojans.

Lincoln Riley's team lost a commitment from five-star defensive lineman Justus Terry on Wednesday, one day after five-star defensive end Isaiah Gibson pulled his commitment. Terry, the No. 7 overall prospect in 247Sports' Composite rankings out of Manchester, Georgia, announced his decommitment on social media.

Gibson, the No. 36 overall prospect out of Warner Robbins, Georgia, is seen as a heavy lean to his home-state Georgia Bulldogs after his decommitment from the Trojans on Tuesday.


The duo's commitments to the Trojans this year were seen as major coups for new defensive coordinator D'Anton Lynn and defensive line coach Eric Henderson. Both were hired by Riley after USC's significant defensive issues in 2023 contributed to a disappointing 8-5 finish for the Trojans.

Henderson in particular seemed to prove his recruiting chops with Gibson's and Terry's commitments after coming from the NFL, where he had been the Los Angeles Rams' defensive line coach. Henderson is close friends with recently-retired Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and had brought him to USC practices around the time Gibson and Terry visited the Trojans and ultimately committed to USC.

Terry has reportedly visited both Georgia and Florida State recently, while Gibson has reportedly visited Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, Auburn and South Carolina. The Trojans are still seen as outside contenders for both players.

USC was ranked No. 4 in 247Sports' 2025 team recruiting rankings thanks in large part to the five-star trio of Terry, Gibson and quarterback Julian "JuJu" Lewis, a fellow Georgia native. Lewis told reporters Tuesday that he remains "locked in" with his USC commitment despite recent visits to Colorado and Auburn.

Regardless, the Trojans are already set to rely on several new starters on both sides of the ball in 2024, including a new quarterback — either redshirt junior Miller Moss or redshirt sophomore Jayden Maiava, who transferred to USC from UNLV earlier this spring.

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