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Football Millikan

Football: Millikan Star Ryan Pellum Commits To USC

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

If you had just one word to sum up Ryan Pellum’s college commitment, it would be Family. 

Fitting for a guy who plays as fast and furious as Pellum does on the gridiron; and family was integral to both his decision and his announcement.

As Pellum sat in the Millikan High School gym, live on the 247Sports YouTube channel, the four-star recruit was flanked by his older brother (and Millikan head coach) Romeo Pellum on one side, and his mom Karla on the other, holding Ryan’s newborn son, Kaceyn.

When it came time to make his decision public, Ryan held up Kaceyn in his arms, revealing a USC onesie to formally announce his college plans, choosing the hometown Trojans over Oregon and dozens of other Power 5 programs.

“He’s a big part of my life obviously, so you know I had to put him in there,” said Pellum of including his son in his announcement, which was replayed on SportsCenter on Tuesday night. “I wanted to be close to home and I’m really familiar with (USC). It’s nothing but a 30-minute drive to come see my little boy.”

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For Romeo Pellum, it was a meaningful day both as a coach and–more importantly–as an older brother. Monday’s announcement signaled another major commitment for his Millikan football program, but it was also the culmination of a long recruitment process for Ryan, who has been a coveted prospect since before he even suited up for the Rams. 

As a wide receiver, defensive back, and return specialist, Pellum has made a name for himself as one of the most explosive athletes in the country. He was named the Moore League Player of the Year after his sophomore season, and the All-American is one of the highest recruits to ever come out of Millikan.

“It’s a huge deal. In our family, it’s just such a dream come true,” said Coach Pellum on his younger brother’s commitment. “He had this opportunity to choose between two really, really good universities, and the good thing is, he’s close to home.”

That proximity between Long Beach and the USC campus was certainly a factor in Pellum’s recruitment. Head coach Lincoln Riley was no stranger to the Millikan sidelines, making a handful of visits to check out Pellum in person.

Romeo said that USC’s family culture was a major selling point in Ryan’s commitment, and that they felt at home with the Trojans’ coaching staff.

“(Ryan) wanted to know wherever he was going, that it was family,” Romeo explained. “I’ve been his coach forever, so he wanted his coach to be like a big brother to him … He didn’t care about anything else, really, the number one thing he was looking for in a school was family.”

The decision to attend USC isn’t quite the same it once was, given the changing nature of the college football landscape. Pellum has been among the recruits shown on social media wearing USC jerseys with the Big Ten logo now on the chest. Starting with his freshman season in the fall of 2024, he’ll help usher in a new era of Trojan football as they leave the Pac-12 for a more national schedule, in the same conference as Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and other powerhouse programs more than 2,000 miles away.

“In his freshman year, they open up with LSU in the Raiders’ stadium, like that’s big boy football,” said Romeo. “That’s as close to the NFL as you’re gonna get is those two conferences, there and the SEC.”

Until that point, the Pellums will have one more season together at Millikan, with lots of supporting talent and high hopes for the season ahead.

“I’m very excited,” said Ryan of his senior season at Millikan. “I feel like it’s gonna be a breakout year, but at the same time a business year. I feel like it’s gonna be a great season; better than we’ve ever been.”

Speaking of traveling for games, the Rams will begin the 2023 season in Hawai’i, taking on Punahou on Aug. 18 in Honolulu.

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.