Orange County high school football has long been known for producing standout offensive linemen.

That tradition will continue this fall courtesy of Santa Margarita's Brett Neilon.

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior-to-be recently committed to USC as a center, picking the Trojans over Pac-12 rival Washington and resurgent West Coast recruiting contender Michigan.

"It's the perfect fit for me athletically and academically," Neilon said of USC to OCVarsity via Twitter. "I felt at home there."

Having a center from Santa Margarita also will feel comfortable for USC. Santa Margarita product Max Tuerk became a mainstay at USC, starting as a freshman, playing every position on the offensive line and becoming a first-team All-Pac-12 selection.

Tuerk was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by San Diego in late April.

Now it's Neilon's turn to shine for Santa Margarita in the fall. He played left tackle last season but moves to center.

"Coach (Richard Fisher) just wants me to have the ball in my hands and get comfortable when college comes around," Neilon said. "He also wants me being the vocal leader."

Neilon also has been selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, an honor also earned by Tuerk and Santa Margarita 2015 standouts KJ Costello (Stanford) and Dylan Crawford (Michigan). The game is Jan. 7, 2017 in San Antonio.

Neilon also is the second Santa Margarita class of 2017 recruit to commit, joining
wide receiver/tight end Grant Calcaterra (Oklahoma).

Please send football recruiting news to Dan Albano at or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

Photo courtesy of Brett Neilon


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