Whoever said USC would struggle to maintain its reputation after a 5-7 season and tumultuous beginning of 2019 appears to have been wrong.
It took three-star in-state defensive tackle Kobe Pepe less than 48 hours to announce he had committed to the program after receiving an offer following the Elite Camp on Wednesday, and even less time to actually commit.
“Coach (Johnny) Nansen pulled me aside after the camp and said, ‘do you want to come here,’” Pepe told 247Sports. “I said, ‘Of course I do,’ and then he told me I had an offer.”
There were two things left to do: First, get his dad’s blessing. As USC was his father’s favorite school, that proved no issue, according to 247Sports.
Then Pepe had to break the news to other schools who had recruited him.
I didn’t want to announce anything publicly out of respect for the colleges who recruited me,” he told 247Sports. “I wanted to let them know first before announcing it so that’s why I waited a couple of days.”
On Friday afternoon, Pepe tweeted he had committed to the Trojans.
IA VIIA LE ALII🙏 …100% Committed ✌️❤️💛 pic.twitter.com/X9wNqPkprs
— KOBE PEPE (@pepe_kobe) June 21, 2019
“USC is my dream school and where I’ve always wanted to go,” Pepe told 247Sports. “Once they offered me after the camp, I jumped on it. I’m so excited to be a Trojan right now, it’s a great feeling and I can’t stop smiling.”
Pepe is an incoming senior on the St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California) football team. He has been part of one of the powerhouses of the country, a team that has gone a combined 25-4 over Pepe’s two years with the program.
He played in seven games as a sophomore before getting action in all 14 games as a junior, amassing 68 tackles and five for loss, according to MaxPreps.
Pepe had 17 offers, according to his 247Sports page, including eight of the Pac-12 programs.