The USC men’s basketball team is set to land the No. 1 overall recruit for the first time in the program’s history.
Evan Mobley, a 7-foot center and the nation’s top prospect in the class of 2020, signed his letter of intent Wednesday to join his former AAU teammate freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu with the Trojans.
Mobley originally announced his commitment on Aug. 5, but the signing was made official on Nov. 13 for National Signing Day.
The Temecula, Calif. native will not have to venture far from home and will join plenty of family at USC. Mobley’s brother, Isaiah, is currently a freshman forward for the Trojans and his father, Eric, is an assistant basketball coach at USC.
The five-star recruit is highly regarded for his unique build and athleticism. Combining his 7-foot stature with a 40-inch vertical, Mobley transcends the traditional role offered at the center position and has the ability to play several positions on the court at a high level.
"Evan is a special young man," head coach Andy Enfield said in a statement. "He is an incredible basketball talent who can dominate on the defensive end with his length and athleticism and on the offensive end with his tremendous skill set.”
Mobley is being a perpetual threat in the low post. A high basketball-IQ and quick reactions allow him to clean up boards on the offensive and defensive end.
Mobley was named the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year last season after averaging 19.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists for Rancho Christian High School. Mobley has put his 7-foot-4 wingspan to use on the defensive end of the floor as well—he averaged 4.7 blocks per game last season—and figures to do the same at USC.
In addition to his high school accolades, Mobley won gold medals with USA Basketball at the FIBA World Cup with the U17 team in 2018 and the U19 team in 2019.
Mobley also received offers from Alabama, San Diego State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington but was expected to choose USC all throughout the recruiting process and thus was never seriously recruited by any other school.
In an interview with Draftexpress.com , Mobley explained he is “still working on my shot and dribbling and also finishing in the post and also getting stronger.”
Mobley’s status as the top recruit in the nation is subject to change, as the final prospect rankings don’t come out until April. Either way, many experts are already speculating that Mobley will leave USC after one year to become a potential No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 draft.
Adding Mobley to an already talent-filled team will provide a necessary boost for the Trojans, who missed the last two NCAA tournaments.
“We are equally excited about Evan’s exceptional work ethic, humble personality and outstanding academic achievements,” Enfield said. “He is a proven winner and we are ecstatic to welcome him to our program."