Jahleel Pinner, who rushed for 1,004 yards and 12 touchdowns in 141 carries and also caught two touchdown passes in helping Mission Viejo High's football team reach the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division championship game, has committed to USC.
The junior was selected the top running back at the Nike Football Training Camp at USC in April and had received interest, though no offers, from several other programs, including Arizona and Arizona State.
“Yup, I committed to USC after I talked it over with my family,” Pinner told USCFootball.com. “I like the SC campus, and it’s close to home. I like that USC recruits the best and I can compete against the best.”
According to Bleacherreport.com's Edwin Weathersby, Pinner, at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, "has the skill set to become a great 'big 'back' type that can push piles, beat up defenses and move the chains for an offense in college.
"Also, as with all big backs, don't rule out seeing Pinner moving to fullback and becoming a rushing/receiving threat type rather then an iso lead blocker type.
Pinner apparently agrees, telling USCFootball.com: ”USC actually uses their fullbacks real well. I think it’d be a real good fit for me to play both because I’d come out of the backfield and do a little bit of single back by myself. I could line up in the slot sometimes and I can do all of those things, so it would be a good fit for me.”
Long-time Trojans fans will remember that USC's Heisman Trophy winning Hall of Famer Marcus Allen spent much of his college career as a fullback.
Pinner's teammate on last fall's Mission Viejo squad, Tre Madden, also committed to USC before the start of his senior season. But nothing is final until Pinner signs his national letter of intent, and the earliest he can do that is Feb. 1, 2012.