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USC Trojans land nation's top cornerback over Penn State, Oregon

Brandon Lockhart, Loyola (California) high school football standout, makes verbal pledge to Lincoln Riley, Trojans

The day after escaping Cal on the road with a win, the USC Trojans scored a major win on the recruiting trail. 

Brandon Lockhart, the nation's No. 1 rated cornerback, committed to head coach Lincoln Riley, over Penn State and Oregon, Lockhart announced Sunday.

The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Lockhart is the nation's No. 1 cornerback, the No. 11 overall prospect and the top-rated prospect in California in the class of 2026.

Lockhart took his second trip to Oregon in late September — this time with his parents — and saw the Ducks throttle Colorado. 

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"Now, (my mom) sees why they're a main contender for my commitment," Lockhart told SBLive's Andrew Nemec in September. "The thing I love most is the love the entire staff shows me and my family. Yes, I love the uniforms and stadium, but feeling like they're extended family is what stands out most."

Lockhart had dozens of offers from blue bloods and three among his finalists, but the Los Angeles native opted to stay to the one closest to home, citing his relationship with USC defensive backs coach Donte Williams in an interview with On3.

"The first time I met coach he let me know right away that I’m family," Lockhart told On3's Hayes Fawcett. "Not just talks about football but life after football, which means a lot to me and my parents knowing I have a future beyond football planned out and also planning out how I’m going to be a big asset to the defense primarily just as a corner.”

-- Andy Buhler | | @sblivetx

Lead image courtesy of Hayes Fawcett