Damien High School safety Ryan McMahon will walk on at USC next season despite standing scholarship offers from UNLV, Utah State and Idaho State.
Through weekly contact with the USC coaching staff and his own analysis of the roster, the 6-foot, 187-pound senior believes he can succeed in one of the premiere college football programs in the country.
“I feel like I can fight my way up the depth chart at USC,” McMahon said. “I know they’re bringing in a lot of good players and they’ve already got a lot of good players there. If I didn’t think I could do it, I wouldn’t go there.”
McMahon received a similar invitation to walk on at Stanford. A Stanford football coach informed him he had been admitted to the school but McMahon is yet to receive official word. Even if he is admitted, McMahon said “it would be tough to sway me from USC.” The University of Pennsylvania also offered McMahon a scholarship.
“I don’t want to play Ivy League football,” McMahon said. “I want to play big-time, Pac-10, BCS-caliber football.”
McMahon collected 77 tackles this season for 5-5-1 Damien. He had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and a fumble recovery.
USC began discussions with McMahon before the season about walking on but the Damien senior wanted to weigh his scholarship options before making any commitments. After fielding some offers, he decided not to take official recruiting trips to any of the schools that offered him.
“Basically, I’m a Southern California kid and I want to stay here,” McMahon said. “Plus I like the social scene at USC. It’s just the best fit for my future.”