Anticipating heavy traffic out of the Coliseum on Saturday, Class of 2014 offensive line commit Toa Lobendahn (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood) left the Oregon-USC game before it was over.
Regardless, he had seen more than enough.
“Even with the loss, it was just an amazing experience,” Lobendahn said. “It was awesome. It just showed me how much it really means to be a Trojan. It was a big stage and it seemed like people from all over the state came out. I probably would have gone down on the field had they won, but I knew the coaches wouldn’t be as happy with the loss so I kind of left near the end of the fourth quarter. It was packed and took us nearly 30 minutes just to get out of there.”
Lobendahn, one of USC’s three offensive line commits in next year’s class along with Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day School) and Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), like any good student of the game, kept a close eye on his future position.
“Our offensive line looked good,” Lobendahn said. “I think the offense did well, but the defense needed some help. I saw [Max] Tuerk out there starting as a true freshman. He was putting in work.”
The 6-foot-4, 274-pound guard sat next to offensive tackle commit Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and a fellow Class of 2014 standout, cornerback Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei).
“The lighting of the torch was awesome,” Lobendahn said. “It was the first time I’d seen it. I didn’t even know they did that. I sat next to Nico and Lockett, one of my best friends who we’re actually playing this week in the playoffs. I also got to meet Steven Mitchell for the first time. He’s a great guy.”
Lobendahn plans to make it to the remainder of USC’s home games, beginning with this week’s battle against Arizona State. He said he looks forward to making a pitch to Class of 2014 offensive lineman Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake), who will be making the cross-country trip for his first Trojans game.
“I’ve been talking to him ever since we met earlier in the summer at USC,” Lobendahn said. “I’ll definitely be recruiting him.”