WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. -- Though junior safety T.J. McDonald has yet to announce whether he is returning for his senior season or leaving early for the NFL, the USC secondary was strengthened Wednesday with the addition of junior college prospect Gerald Bowman of Pierce College.
Bowman committed to the Trojans over Oklahoma and Miami, becoming the 11th USC commit for this class and the fifth who will enroll this spring. Bowman joins fellow junior college recruit Morgan Breslin in choosing the Trojans on Wednesday. Both players are capable of making early impacts in their USC careers.
Originally from Philadelphia, Bowman spent a year at North Carolina Tech before following teammates to Pierce. After a stellar first year there, USC offered a scholarship and had been chasing him in a big way ever since. Bowman eventually gained interest in Oklahoma and took an official visit there in early November, but an official visit to USC in late December -- coupled with Ed Orgeron’s constant presence -- was enough for the Trojans to land one of the top junior college recruits in the country.
Bowman -- 6-foot-1, 211 pounds -- will have two years of eligibility remaining and will likely challenge for playing time immediately. His status as an early enrollee should help him attack the two-deep at safety as well as several special teams positions. He fits well into that USC legacy of big-hitting safeties and is a key addition to the defensive backfield, with his experience and leadership qualities likely playing a big role this year and next.