4-star defensive end Kylie Fitts has decommitted from USC.
Fitts has been a big-time commitment for the Trojans—he's ranked as the No. 7 strong-side defenisve end in the 2013 class by Rivals.com—but it appears as if his recruitment with USC didn't quite go according to plan.
This may not look too good for Lane Kiffin and the Trojans.
Scott Schrader of 247Sports.com reports on Fitts' decommitment from USC:
It started off with a Tweet about his heart exploding and followed by a Tweet saying he had decommitted from USC. A huge surprise for all who have followed his recruitment.
"There was a development yesterday at 3:30 p.m.that totally surprised me and I called the USC coaches today to inform them that I'm decommitting and opening up my recruitment," said Fitts who was a rock-solid-USC commit. "When I told them I was decommitting, I just broke down. It is the hardest decision I've ever had to make. So, I'm going to take a step back, reevaluate things and open up my recruitment. I will take official visits, I just don't know where, yet. I'll meet with my family, my head coach and figure out the best plan for me.
Schrader goes on to explain that this decommitment may have something to do with Fitts not being able to enroll early now that Leon McQuay III has officially signed with the program, putting USC over the limit of 75 scholarship players. This quote from Fitts' essentially confirms that theory, per Schrader's report:
"I'm not exactly sure what happened with Eldridge and I don't want to go into details, but it has something to with that (being asked to enroll in June instead of this week)," said Fitts. "I told USC that they are still one of my top choices, but I will now look at other schools."
It's tough to feel good about this from anybody's perspective, but most of all this has to be disappointing for Fitts.
He's the one who decommitted, so he still does hold an offer from USC and he's been clear about the Trojans still being a main option, but this is undoubtedly a tough situation. In fact, here's what Fitts had to say about the decommitment according to Blair Angulo of WEAreSC.com:
"Something happened recently that questioned my trust in USC, so I'm reopening my recruitment," Fitts said. "It literally broke my heart. I broke down and cried. It was so hard for me and my family. It's just what's best for me at this moment. I'm putting in God's hands and trusting that everything will work out."
According to Angulo, Fitts was going to enroll on Thursday and start class on the 14th, so one can only imagine how shocking it was to hear that the Trojans couldn't logistically let him enroll early.
It may be logistics, but Kiffin and the Trojans certainly don't look good here. At least they didn't pull his offer, but it sure seems like Fitts was taken by surprise by this news.
One has to wonder how that will come across to other recruits, not just here with the 2013 class but moving forward into 2014 as well.
As far as the 2013 class is concerned, USC is still doing alright. Three of the big 5-star commitments are already signed in Max Browne, Su'a Cravens and the aforementioned McQuay III, and Kenny Bigelow, Jalen Ramsey and Ty Issaac are all verbally committed.
At defensive end, the Trojans still boast the commitment of 4-star Jason Hatcher, who has star potential.
There's no doubting the fact that this is still a very impressive class, but there's also no doubting that USC recruiting has been experiencing more negatives than positives as of late. The rough season on the field didn't help, and neither did losing the commitments of 5-star safety Max Redfied or 5-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes.
Will Fitts end up back at USC?
Momentum in college football recruiting is often a huge factor, as is perception, and right now USC should be perceived as a program that is quickly losing momentum. Any positive vibes the Trojans picked up from landing McQuay III over the weekend have been quickly overshadowed by this story.
Overall, USC should be okay on the field if it can't bring Fitts back, but it's hard to ignore the fact that this is a very big decommitment for the Trojans—not only with the rankings, but because of the way this situation will come across.