USC picked up a big addition to its 2023 class on National Signing Day with the commitment of four-star tight end Walker Lyons. Lyons also considered Georgia, Stanford and Utah after starring for Folsom High School outside of Sacramento, California.
Lyons previously committed to Stanford but reopened his recruitment following coach David Shaw's resignation. He is ranked as the No. 9 tight end in the class by 247Sports and considered the No. 11 overall prospect out of California. The 6-foot-4 Lyons is USC's first tight commitment of the class but is not expected to enroll until the fall of 2024 as he completes an LDS mission.
That delayed enrollment should also give Lyons time to continue healing from a leg injury that ended his senior season following the first game of the year. In a March evaluation, 247Sports national recruiting expert Chris Singletary noted that Lyons can line up in the traditional tight end spot or in the slot. Here is more from Singletary's scouting report on Lyons:
He does a nice job of getting off the ball and into his route pattern from either alignment. With good body quickness and strength he has no issue getting off of press coverage. Can create separation with body position and enough burst to get away from defenders. Displays very good body control to make 50/50 catches and use his jumping ability to make contested catches. Runs all the route patterns very well and precisely. Finds the soft spots in zone coverages to be a safety net for the quarterback. Understands how to set defenders up with route depth and stemming them to give the quarterback an easy throwing lane. Possesses enough speed to create rac for chunk plays. Willing to go across the middle and make tough catches in traffic. Even though he is not asked to do it often, he is more than an adequate blocker who will put his face on an opponent and drive them off the ball.
USC's class is ranked No. 8 nationally and first in the Pac-12 as coach Lincoln Riley continues his rebuild following an 11-3 campaign in his first season on the job.