5-Star DT Justus Terry Flips Commitment From Georgia to USC

While five-star quarterback Julian Lewis is on flip watch, USC stole Georgia commit and 2025's top defensive tackle Justus Terry.

Amid rumors of 2025 five-star quarterback Julian Lewis spurning USC for a different program (Alabama, perhaps?), the Trojans flipped top DT recruit Justus Terry from Georgia. Terry committed to the Bulldogs in January 2023 but took visits to other programs before pledging his allegiance to USC on March 24.

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USC Flips Top 2025 DT Justus Terry From Georgia

Many might recognize Terry after he went viral for his physique as an eighth grader. According to 247Sports, he is the No. 2 defensive lineman and eighth overall prospect in the 2025 cycle. The only DT ahead of him? Fellow Georgian Elijah Griffin, whose recruitment is still open.

Griffin visited USC last weekend, but most recruiting sites believe he’ll ultimately take Terry’s spot with the Bulldogs.

Under head coach Lincoln Riley, the Trojans have been known for their explosive offense and less-than-ideal defense. Adding Terry is a massive step in rebuilding the unit, and new defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn and defensive line coach Eric Henderson presumably played a big role in bringing him to Southern California.

Lynn called UCLA’s defense last season and took the unit to new heights, allowing just 299 yards (11th in the FBS) and 18.1 points per game (15th), improvements from 399.8 and 28.3 the year before. Meanwhile, Henderson has coached the Los Angeles Rams’ DL since 2019, providing much-needed credibility to USC’s defensive staff.

USC signed 12 defensive recruits in the 2024 class, including DE Kamryn Fountain, LB Elijah Newby, CB Marcelles Williams, and S Marquis Gallegos. And they’ve continued their success in the 2025 cycle, flipping Terry and earning commitments from four-star DE Isaiah Gibson, four-star S Hylton Stubbs, and three-star DT Gus Cordova.

Fountain, Terry, Gibson, 2024 four-star TE Walter Matthews, and the aforementioned Lewis are all prized pledges out of Georgia, highlighting USC’s efforts in the state. Kirby Smart and Co. likely aren’t pleased with losing star talent from their own state, with Georgia’s head coach complaining about NIL’s impact on recruiting earlier this month.

“There’s a lot of them that want to ask about NIL. They don’t want to ask about what your NFL players have done. I think it’s much more important how you develop players than how much NIL you make.”

KEEP READING: Julian Lewis Set To Visit Several SEC Schools, Remains Committed To USC

To his point, the Bulldogs have seen four defensive linemen selected in the first round of the last two NFL Drafts, while the Trojans have had one defensive player drafted in Round 1 since Smart became Georgia’s head coach in 2016.

Regardless, USC’s next priority is to maintain their top recruits’ commitments and sign them this December. That’s easier said than done, especially with Lewis taking visits to multiple top programs this spring.

Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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