Recruiting insiders have been predicting Porter Gustin to choose USC pretty much since he became a name known to people who follow recruiting, so it wasn't a shock today when Gustin chose the Trojans overs Ohio State, Utah, and Arizona State.
Most people have heard about Gustin's ranking and the hype that has accompanied him, but what kind of player are the Trojans getting in Gustin?
Porter Gustin - 5 star linebacker
Gustin has the size to step in and play right away in the Pac-12. He'd impress NFL scouts with his measurables. At 6'5" and over 240 pounds, he was a man amongst boys at the high school level. He's also a ridiculous athlete for being that size as well. He finished in the top 10 in Nike's SPARQ testing at The Opening last summer before his senior season and put his freakish athleticism on display. Physically, he is the total package.
The only questions surrounding his size and athleticism is if he may be a better fit as an edge rusher at the next level because he might outgrow playing linebacker. That may be the case, but he certainly plays linebacker well enough to stick there. He is extremely physical in taking on blocks and tackles through ball carriers. He doesn't just rely on speed an and strength to make plays though. His recognition skills are very good and help him get to plays quicker. He does everything you want a Mike linebacker to do versus the run.
He's an outstanding blitzer versus the pass. He shows great timing and will explode to fight through blocks if picked up. He got the chance to rush off the edge on certain occasions and flashed there, but relied a bit too much on taking an inside move. He's not going to get that soft shoulder inside from too many offensive tackles in college so I would have liked to see him try and bend around the edge more. Physically though, he has great potential to develop into a very good edge rusher.
I didn't see a lot of him in coverage from his junior film, but he did drop more as a senior. He's not stiff in his hips by any means, but also isn't the most fluid player in terms of his drops. He makes up for that though because of his great awareness and really good ball skills. If the play is there, he is going to finish it and intercept the football, which he did as a senior and in the US Army All-American Bowl, when had a pick six.
He shows such great instincts at linebacker that I think it would be a mistake not to at least start him out as a Mike and see where that leads. If it doesn't work out, he could end up being a heck of defensive end.