USC Trojan Football: Why Is USC Recruiting Suddenly Having Issues?
USC lost its fifth commit of its 2013 class when 4-star defensive lineman Kylie Fitts decommitted from the Trojans and reopened up his recruitment.
According to LA Times reporter Eric Sondheimer, Fitts' coach Kurt Bruich (Redlands East Valley High School) told Sondheimer that Fitts was informed earlier this week that USC did not have an available spot for him to enroll early at the school. Fitts will have to wait until June.
Fitts committed to USC after the Trojans' 2012 spring game—last April, Fitts told Scout's Greg Biggins, "I’m a Trojan, that’s where my heart is and there is no way I’ll go anywhere else.”
Just two months ago, Fitts was still under the impression that he was going to be an early enrollee at USC. Scout's Annabel Stephan reported that Fitts "will graduate in December and join the Trojans' in early 2013."
How could a school totally mess up a kid's recruitment so late in the recruiting season?
Fitts went 'all in' on USC for nine months. USC went 'all out' on Fitts in one day when it suddenly realized it didn't have an early enrollment spot for Fitts, one week before he was about to start school. According to an ESPN report, Fitts was recently shopping for dorm essentials—he was on his way.
So was receiver Eldridge Massington, another early enrollee candidate. He, too, has decommitted from USC and has committed to UCLA instead.
Fitts joins Massington, Sebastian La Rue, Max Redfield and Eddie Vanderdoes in USC's class of 2013 decommits. It's a class growing at an alarming pace.
How concerned are you with USC's recruiting?
La Rue's decommit apparently didn't come as a shock to USC—message board fodder indicates that USC wanted La Rue to play at cornerback while La Rue wanted to play receiver. But Fitts' decommitment was a shock.
Fitts was ostensibly under the impression that he would be able to enroll in January—for nine months he thought he was going to USC in January. But now he isn't.
And a new commit is.
Safety Leon McQuay III (ranked third in his position) committed to USC late last week as an early enrollee. So yeah, this stinks for Fitts.
According to a 247Sports report, McQuay's commitment affected Fitt's commitment.
With the commitment of Leon McQuay III, the Trojans will be over the limit of 75 scholarship players if Fitts enrolled early.
"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."
The problem for USC is that it has to project when players will finish their studies—if a player doesn't graduate on schedule, then his scholarship is still being used if he needs an extra semester. What is concerning is that despite USC not always being able to correctly project when scholarships will open up, it still gave a newer recruit the option to enroll early while taking away that option for a longtime commit.
Remember, Fitts said there was "no way I’ll go anywhere else” so right now, we'll see how that plays out. Fitts is scheduled to visit UCLA on January 18—his sibling attends UCLA as well. If he chooses UCLA, USC may have to reconsider how it doles out its precious scholarships.
This newest decommitment may just be a case of where USC didn't have a firm read on the number of early enrollment spots available—undoubtedly the NCAA's scholarship restrictions placed on USC have made the process more difficult.
But if USC is gambling on a commit's loyalty, its stack of blue chips will just keep getting smaller and smaller.
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