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Four-Star EDGE Hayden Lowe Signs With the USC Trojans

USC Trojans — Fans in the Coliseum
© Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

Athletic four-star EDGE Hayden Lowe has committed to play for the USC Trojans. His signing is the culmination of diligent recruiting by USC's defensive line coach Eric Henderson. Per 247Sports, Henderson is the third-highest-rated recruiter in the nation. Lowe specifically singled out Henderson's recruitment of him as a major factor in his decision to become a Trojan.

Lowe chose USC over Georgia, Oregon, Washington, Texas, UCLA and others. His official signing day was June 9, and his signing constitutes evidence of USC's concerted focus on strengthening the team's defense.

Lowe's Background

Lowe is 6-foot-4 and 256 pounds. He plays his high school ball at Oaks Christian in Westlake Village, Calf., in Los Angeles County. In a 247Sports scouting report, Lowe's physical attributes are touted: He has long arms, natural strength and an explosive first step. He beats most tackles with ease. His high school coaches compare him to Kayvon Thibodeaux, who also hails from Westlake Village and was selected No. 5 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Lowe is rated No. 19 among all edge rushers across the country in the 2025 recruiting class.

USC's Renewed Commitment to Defense

College football fans know the Trojan defense was abysmal in the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Sports Illustrated aptly described the paltry state of USC's defense the last two seasons stating "It was terrible in 2022, but at least they forced turnovers. In 2023, they couldn't stop a nosebleed, and their ability to run the ball was gone."

Coach Lincoln Riley is acutely aware of this circumstance and is committed to strengthening the team's defense. Thus, he brought in defensive coordinator D'Anton Lynn and revamped the defensive coaching staff. DL coach Henderson came over from the Los Angeles Rams, where he was the coach of legendary lineman Aaron Donald. Henderson and Donald are also friends, and that relationship has proven fruitful for USC, as Donald has participated in USC recruiting activities. It is hard to overstate the impact the involvement of Donald could have on young defensive recruits.

Highly-Rated Class

With the addition of Lowe, USC's 2025 Class is rated No. 4 in the nation according to On3 composite ratings. The Trojans' class features three five-star recruits and six four-stars. Defensive lineman Justus Terry, quarterback Julian Lewis and EDGE Isaiah Gibson headline the class. Those five-star players are rated the No. 7, No. 10 and No. 27 recruits in the country, respectively.

USC's 2025 class is currently comprised of 13 young men, and only three of them are from California. As noted, Lowe is one of the Californians. The addition of Lowe gives USC a trio of highly-prized edge rushers. Lowe joins Gibson, the top-ranked edge rusher in the class, as well as Gus Cordova, a formidable 6-foot-3, 246-pound Texan who committed to USC after receiving offers from 49 other schools.

The Trojans appear on their way to rebuilding a defense that has previously been graced by Pro Football Hall of Fame players Ronnie Lott, Junior Seau and Troy Polamalu.


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