QB Guru Lincoln Riley Lands No. 1 Passer (Again), Sets USC Up For Years Of Success In The Big Ten

Lincoln Riley runs onto the field at the USC spring game.

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Lincoln Riley has had more success at the quarterback position than any other coach in college football. The USC leader has coached three Heisman winners, led another finalist, and seen unprecedented success on the recruiting trail.

Riley added to that incredible run this week with the commitment of another top passer. The pledge could help set the Trojans up for years of success following the transition from the PAC-12 to the Big Ten.

Under Riley’s leadership, we saw Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurst excel at Oklahoma. Two of the three won the Heisman trophy while Hurts was a finalist.

After making the move to USC, Riley saw Caleb Williams win the award after throwing for an NCAA-leading 42 touchdowns last year. That incredible production under center has allowed the head coach to recruit some of the country’s top talent over the last few years.

He was able to lure Spencer Rattler to Norman, a five-star prospect that was eventually unseated by Williams. He also signed top signal caller Malachi Nelson in last year’s USC recruiting class.

Adding to that ridiculous list, Lincoln Riley secured a commitment from another No. 1 player on Tuesday.

Lincoln Riley, USC land pledge from Julian Lewis.

This week, the top player of the 2026 class committed to USC. QB Julian Lewis will head to Los Angeles after his high school career wraps up, adding to the Trojans’ embarrassment of riches at the position.

Lewis picked USC over the hometown team Georgia, as well as Alabama, FSU, LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, and Texas A&M.

The announcement could help set the program up for success as they soon transition to the Big Ten. USC will likely see an uptick in competition once its conference realignment move is made, facing the likes of Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan annually.

Fortunately, they’ll have a few top-ranked passers leading the charge.

In theory, the Trojans could hand the keys over from Caleb Williams, On3’s No. 1 ranked passer in the 2021 class, to Malachi Nelson, ESPN’s No. 1 ranked passer in the 2023 class, to Julian Lewis, 24/7 Sports’s No. 1 ranked passer for 2026.

That could be back-to-back-to-back five-star passers, for those counting at home. The future is certainly bright in Los Angeles.

Lincoln Riley will look to lead USC to a PAC-12 title in 2023. The Trojans will be off to the B1G the following year and they’ll bring some talent with them.