Jamil Muhammad Ready For Challenge With Southern Cal Trojans
Los Angeles, Calif.- Jamil Muhammad said he’s on a mission led by God. The latest stop on his journey is Los Angeles, Calif. where the former James Clemens All-State football player has come to rest as a member of the Southern California Trojans as a redshirt senior after transferring from Georgia State where he played for three seasons.
“I knew God didn’t bring me this far for no reason as I knew something was in the writing,” said Muhammad. “I was just excited to see what it was, and I’ll never forget I was on my way to class when I heard from Coach (Alex) Grinch (USC Defensive Coordinator) hit me up via Twitter. That was a great day as I was excited that we ended up connecting.”
The journey for Muhammad began in Madison, most notably at James Clemens, where was a three-star recruit at quarterback and chose to accept a scholarship to Vanderbilt University in Nashville where his education was a high priority. His road to college was hampered at one time as he suffered a preseason knee injury and went on to miss the entire 2017 season for the Jets after verbally committing to Vanderbilt. In his senior year at James Clemens, he was named All-Region and Honorable All-State at quarterback where he passed for 1,773 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 942 yards and 18 touchdowns in his magical senior season where the Jets were 7-4.
Muhammad was committed to Vanderbilt and decided to sign early with the Commodores’ program and graduated early from James Clemens and soon enrolled into Vanderbilt in January of 2019 where he took part in spring practices at the member school of the Southeastern Conference. Things weren’t up to Muhammad’s satisfaction and he chose to transfer to a different school where he soon landed at Georgia State where he was redshirted in the 2019 season. He also chose to move from quarterback to inside linebacker and the decision is one he’s never regretted.
“Moving from quarterback to inside linebacker and then to outside linebacker was a move I knew God made for me,” said the 6-foot-1, 240-pound Muhammad, who had 70 tackles with 7.5 sacks while appearing in 34 games including 10 starting assignments at Georgia State, which plays in the Sun Belt Conference.
After three seasons at Georgia State with two years of eligibility remaining, Muhammad chose to seek a school where he could play his final two years and have the satisfaction he earned his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus of Social Entrepreneurship. Though the Trojans return 82 players from the 2022 squad with six starters returning on offense and eight on defense, second-year head coach Lincoln Riley was looking for some outside rushing. Up popped Muhammad’s name and soon came the offer to come to the City of Angels.
Outside linebacker coach Roy Manning said of Muhammad, “A great, great, great get from the portal. Talking to him, you knew this kid is all business as he doesn’t mess around. He’s a fast learner. He’s like one time and he’s got in. Being originally recruited as a quarterback I know he’s got some wits about him, but not really any surprise. He’s been spot on.”
Southern Cal has the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in quarterback Caleb Williams who Muhammad said he’s already bonded with since Muhammad has a quarterback background.
“Caleb and I talk a lot about what I see from his snap count point of views, certain formations that I can beat on certain things in practice,” added Muhammad. “He’s a Heisman Trophy winner for a reason as he makes a lot of ridiculous decisions at the line and he checks a lot. For me to be able to process that and still understand what’s coming, that definitely has something to do from me being a former quarterback. That’s another thing I’m grateful for, because it’s allowed me to play fast.”
USC was 11-3 last season and suffered a tough one-point loss to Tulane in the Cotton Bowl. The returnees from that squad along with an impressive recruiting class and portal arrivals should make the Trojans a favorite in the Pac 12 Championship. For Muhammad, the chance at a terrific winning campaign with a first-rate program is more than just being lucky. The trek across the country to where he believes he needs to be is part of his journey in life, with God.