Did USC’s Korey Foreman turn a corner with UCLA interception?

A 5-star ranking comes with buzz. It gets people talking.

For much of this college football season, the conversation surrounding Korey Foreman has been rooted in frustration. The USC sophomore defensive end arrived on campus in the summer of 2021 as the No. 2 recruit in the country.

And he arrived with enormous expectations.

Foreman has struggled to get on the field at times this season for No. 4 USC. He didn’t play against Oregon State back in September and logged only five snaps against Utah three weeks later.

“Everyone has an opinion like they have a back door,” said Korey Forman’s father Kevin.

Yet through it all, Kevin Foreman’s message to his son has remained the same.

“As long as you keep working, the opportunity is going to present itself and when it does, seize it,” he said.

In USC’s 48-45 come-from-behind win over rival UCLA on Nov. 19, Foreman got his chance. In one of the most memorable plays of the Trojans’ season, Foreman unexpectedly dropped back into coverage and intercepted UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to clinch a USC win and keep the Trojans’ national title hopes alive.

It was a moment that Kevin Foreman hopes will kickstart his son’s college career.

“It’s going now,” he said. “The love and the energy, it’s still coming out with it being so much of a rivalry. It carried over into the Notre Dame game, that energy and effort. It’s like I want to make another play and then another play. That’s what we really like about it now.”

Foreman did not have as big of an impact against Notre Dame as he did in the UCLA game, but there’s now a reason to believe that as USC pushes for a spot in the College Football Playoff, he’s at least earned the trust of head coach Lincoln Riley.

Following Foreman’s game-sealing pick, Riley embraced the defensive lineman on the Rose Bowl Stadium grass and spoke with him for several seconds.

“Coach Riley was right to the point with him and talked about seizing the moment,” Kevin Foreman said of the postgame hug. “When you get your opportunity, make the best of it. He told him that he stepped up and did the job.”

As USC enters postseason play, Riley and one of his most talented defensive players seem to be on the same page. That could make a massive difference in the program’s quest for its 12th championship.

“From what Korey tells me, Coach Riley and him talk a lot behind the scenes,” Kevin Foreman said. “They have good chemistry.”

USC will play Utah in the Pac-12 championship game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday. The Trojans fell to the Utes 43-42 back in October. While it’s no guarantee, a win in the rematch would most likely earn the Trojans a spot in the College Football Playoff. Currently, USC is No. 4 in the official College Football Playoff rankings. 

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