Justin Turner Hopeful Lincoln Riley Hire Will Improve USC Recruiting At Local Level

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Among the interests Justin Turner has off the field is in USC football, which struggled the past few years under Clay Helton. However, the program made a splash last month by hiring Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma.

Riley’s arrival has rejuvenated the fanbase and inspired talk of the Trojans returning to a level of success last seen under Pete Carroll. Part of that will require USC turning their fortunes around when it comes to recruiting in California.

“Obviously you’d like to see them improve and get back to their dominating ways and being able to keep blue chip high school recruits right here in Southern California,” Turner told DodgerBlue.com. “That’s (hiring Riley) obviously a good step to that.

“There’s a lot of buzz around it, so hoping we can see a lot of Southern California talent not leave the state.”

Since USC announced Riley as their new head coach, a bevy of top prospects in the greater L.A. area and from both the 2022 and 2023 classes, have flipped their commitments.

The just-completed early signing period saw the Trojans secure the signatures of California’s top prospect, Mater Dei cornerback Domani Jackson, and his Monarchs teammate and fellow five-star Raleek Brown.

The running back had previously been committed to Oklahoma while Riley was head coach. Jackson chose the Trojans over national powerhouse Alabama. He’s the second consecutive top prospect from California to commit to USC, following in the footsteps of Korey Foreman.

As for the 2023 recruiting cycle, Riley now being at USC led to five-star recruits and Los Alamitos teammates Makai Lemon and Malachi Nelson flipping their verbal commitments from Oklahoma to the Trojans.

Turner trying to keep cool

Last year Justin and Kourtney Turner rented an RV to drive across country for their annual trip to Indiana for the holidays. The couple is completing the same trek again this December, although with more knowledge and a better plan.

“First and foremost is to keep the AC unit on the top of the RV and watch out for tunnels,” Turner quipped. “We are going to take it a little slower this year. Last year we kind of winged it and as we were driving we kind of decided where we were going to stop. We were scrambling to make reservations at RV places, which wasn’t as easy as we thought it was going to be.

“So this year we kind of planned it out and also last year we drove 10 to 14 hours a day, got in late and woke up early, so didn’t really get to enjoy RV’ing. So this year we planned all our stops to get in around 4 or 5 o’clock so we can get set up in camp, enjoy the campground a little bit and then get off to an early start in the morning.”

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