BELLFLOWER, Calif. -- Four-star defensive end Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) became the fifth ESPN 300 prospect to join USC's recruiting class on Friday afternoon when he verbally committed to the Trojans in an announcement ceremony at his school.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Dorton, ranked No. 212 overall in the ESPN 300, is rated the nation's No. 20 defensive end.
Dorton, one of the area's top defensive prospects, had known for some time that USC was the place for him, but a handful of recent visits to campus solidified his inkling.
"Coach [Ed] Orgeron and I have a relationship in the making," Dorton said. "We talk very often. He's a great coach and great guy. I like the way he coaches. We'll see where that goes when I head up there more and continue to keep in touch with him. I know they only signed one defensive lineman last year, so there's a chance I can come in and play right away. The coaches have talked to me about that and I've seen it for myself at practices. I know about it."
Orgeron brought in only one defensive lineman in the 2013 class, four-star defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow. Dorton becomes USC's eighth commitment and fourth defensive lineman in the current cycle, joining ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central), defensive end Austin Maloata (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and juco prospect Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College).
"I’ve never been to a game at the Coliseum, so I'm excited for that," Dorton said. "I’ll be at a few games this year. I know I’ll be there at the UCLA-USC game, for sure, and definitely the Stanford game. I’ll also be at a few small games, but the big games I’ll be there for sure."
Dorton, whose offer list includes Arizona State, Boise State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, UCLA and Washington, landed the coveted USC offer in early May. The Trojans are also in pursuit of teammate Damien Mama, an ESPN 300 offensive guard, and have offered ESPN 300 athlete Jaleel Wadood and 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen, the No. 1-rated pocket passer in his class. USC signed four-star offensive tackle Nico Falah from St. John Bosco in the 2013 class.
For Dorton, making a decision before the start of his senior season was important.
"Everything that I wanted to improve on, I did this summer," Dorton said. "Now the main goal is winning that state title. I can focus solely on getting a ring."