The Bruins make a push to take out a Trojan from across town.
Class of 2024 linebacker Dylan Williams, who signed to USC on April 11, received a scholarship offer from UCLA football Wednesday, he announced on Twitter. Williams is entering his junior year at Long Beach Poly (CA) and is already considered one of the best linebackers in Southern California and the nation.
Williams also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Florida State, Miami, Michigan State, Nevada, Oregon State, San Jose State, TCU and Utah before committing to USC, which was offered to him in January.
Williams hails from the same high school as former UCLA tight end and current Green Bay Packers veteran Marcedes Lewis. UCLA men’s basketball featured two Long Beach Poly grads on the roster last year, but both Peyton Watson and Myles Johnson left Westwood to start this offseason.
The Bruins had targeted another Long Beach Poly product on the gridiron before Williams, but 2023-class cornerback Daylen Austin made a commitment to LSU on May 17.
Williams is currently a member of a USC 2024 recruit class ranked #3 in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite. Calabasas (CA) defenseman Aaron Butler is the top member of the Trojans’ future class, while Williams’ Long Beach Poly teammate receiver Jason Robinson rounds out the star-studded group.
That hasn’t stopped newly hired linebacker coach Ken Norton Jr. from getting involved, however. Although Norton was an all-American linebacker at UCLA in the 1980s, he took his first coaching job at USC, where he was on the defensive end from 2004-2009.
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Norton has already received acceptances from a class of 2023 linebackers — St. John Bosco (CA) talent Ty Lee — since taking the job in February. He’s also close to sealing the deal with another as senior in-state linebacker Tre Edwards announces his signing Friday with plenty of enthusiasm that he could pick the Bruins.
Williams ranks on par with Edwards and earns four stars from 247Sports, Rivals and On3. Williams is the No. 16 linebacker in the country and the No. 16 recruit in California according to the 247Sports Composite, and also sneaks into the top 200 in his class overall at 195th place.
At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Williams averaged 48 tackles, 11.5 tackles for losses, 2.0 sacks, two passes defended and two fumble recoveries in 12 games for Long Beach Poly in 2021. Williams turned that successful second campaign into an appearance at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio in January, where he ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash and continued to build his recruiting.
UCLA has Darius Muasau, Kain Medrano and Ale Kaho as their veteran inside linebackers for the upcoming season, but none of them will wear blue and gold until 2024. Even young backups JonJon Vaughns, Damian Sellers, Jeremiah Trojan and Choe Bryant-Strother would be entering their super senior years by this point, leaving 2022 St. John Bosco signee Jalen Woods as the only long-term member.
The Bruins don’t have a single commit for 2024, at linebacker or any other position. Williams is the 13th player in his class to receive an offer from UCLA, all of which are four- or five-star prospects.
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