It was an odd journey for Jordan Payton, wasn't it?
A wide receiver ranked 15th nationally at his position by both Scout and Rivals, the kid whose first name is reminiscent of basketball's all-time greatest player and whose last name brings to mind arguably football's all-time best tailback committed to two different schools before finally deciding on UCLA.
After all of the fuss he caused, the 6'2", 199-pound Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian product had better be worth it in part because his actions have helped raise questions about the use of the word "commitment" to label recruits.
"A kid commits, it doesn't slow anything down," Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell told the Los Angeles Times. "There is no such thing as your word anymore. I’m so mad at the situation. (Payton) shares some of the blame, but it’s not 100 percent on his shoulders. It’s the whole recruiting situation. It’s not fair on the players. It’s not fair on the coaches."
Here is a look at the long and winding road he took to Westwood.
Less than a month after taking an official visit to California, Payton committed to the Golden Bears on Jan. 6, 2011.
One night later ,he affirmed that pledge by announcing to a national television audience watching the U.S. Army All-American Bowl he would be attending Cal.
It all looked good for Jeff Tedford and his staff.
Payton created some nervousness at Cal when, a week after committing to the Golden Bears, he took an official visit to Pac-12 rival UCLA.
However, he returned home still committed to California.
Payton decommits from California on Jan. 31, less than 24 hours before national signing day.
This negatively impacts the Golden Bears in many ways, as not only do they lose a top prospect, but believing they had Payton in the fold, they had backed off other potential signees.
Rumors about him committing to Washington begin.
Soon after decommitting from Cal, Payton commits to Washington.
This happens the night before national signing day.
With Washington coaches awaiting the signed national letter of intent Payton promised he would fax, the receiver changes his mind and decides not to play for the Huskies.
But where will he sign?
New Bruins' coach Jim Mora Jr. gets his guy when Payton faxes in his national letter of intent to UCLA on Wednesday.
Yes, it's over...until he transfers?