A four-star recruit from Murrieta, Calif., Cravens confirmed his decision Wednesday, becoming the Trojans' eighth commitment for the 2013 class and their third player ranked in the top 15 of the ESPN 150.
Although he has been pursued by multiple high-profile programs, Cravens said his mother will be pleased to see her son remain close to home.
"I think if I would have announced anywhere else, my mom would have killed me," Cravens said. "She wanted me to go there but told me wherever I wanted to go, she'd be happy."
Cravens has several ties to the Trojans. He grew up down the street from Memorial Coliseum and his cousin, current Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron, was a fourth-round draft pick out of USC last year.
Cravens also figures to attract more top players to USC, building on coach Lane Kiffin's extensive list of recruits. The 6-foot-1 Cravens said he chose USC in part because of the Trojans' strong 2011 campaign.
"I love the atmosphere at USC and how you come together as brothers through that," he said.
Kiffin and the Trojans did not have a smooth path in their pursuit of Cravens, who initially was recruited as a fullback -- an offer that confused the 205-pound safety. However, Kiffin's staff quickly adjusted its offer to the defensive side of the ball, where Cravens feels more comfortable.
There is no guarantee where Cravens will line up for the Trojans, as he could be slotted for either safety or linebacker. Cravens also could serve as a two-way player with occasional carries out of the backfield.
Cravens recorded 100 tackles, 11 sacks and three interceptions during his junior season at Vista Murrieta High School, leading the Broncos to the CIF title. He also rushed for 673 yards and scored 19 touchdowns.