The battle over recruiting grounds is fierce around Los Angeles for the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans. Both programs go head-to-head on most of the elite talent to come out of Southern California with the balance in their rivalry often swaying back and forth with every recruit. 2014 four-star defensive end Malik Dorton is the latest prospect to get caught up in the tug-of-war and will choose his side this Friday.
Dorton is the No. 20 rated defensive end in the 2014 class by ESPN and has been highly sought by many of the top programs on the West Coast. When UCLA made an early offer, Dorton hinted that he might make a quick decision and jump to the Bruins. He held off, however, and eventually got an offer from USC who quickly became the front-runner for the talented defensive lineman. Other programs, such as the Arizona State Sun Devils, also pushed for Dorton, but the clear front-runners are the local programs.
The Bellflower, California, native is a stout run-defender that can stretch out running plays and make the tackle. He’ll need to improve on his pass-rushing ability, but that ability to play strong against the run in a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid position should be an immediate asset to whatever program signs him. Dorton has said he will make his final decision on Friday, presumably to allow himself to focus on his senior season in high school.
UCLA and USC will continue to rage with each other over just about everything as their rivalry continues to heat up. Dorton will be a major get for either program’s recruiting class and could be a key piece for turning the Battle for L.A. for one team or the other.