Five-star ATH and MaxPreps High School Player of the year Dillon Baxter is either a soft verbal or a full decommitment from the USC Trojans, depending on who you talk to.
Baxter was scheduled to enroll early at USC until two weeks ago, but when the rumors about Pete Carroll came true, Baxter announced his recruitment was wide open. The early enrollment ship has sailed.
Now, four schools have joined USC in the scrum for his talents. I'd like to take a look at the chances each one has at landing him on signing day.
Like 10 of his compadres, his final decision could be a complete surprise, so play these odds at your own risk.
Wolverines fans rejoiced when Baxter decommitted.
According to a recruiting mod, he was already on the brink of decommitting from USC after his official visit to Michigan for the Ohio State game, and the Maize n' Blue felt they had a chance to lure him back once his recruitment reopened.
But a variety of factors are keeping Michigan out of the game. Although Michigan was mentioned in the immediate running, Baxter didn't seem to have much interest in revisiting Michigan officially or unofficially.
Additionally, the class at Michigan has filled up since his visit. At 25 kids and with the No. 26 spot going to either Sean Parker or Rashad Knight, it's not likely Michigan can cook up room for him.
Of course, Michigan's backfield is wide open, and Baxter would be the most highly touted RB recruit to play for the Wolverines since Anthony Thomas. But the line has gone all but dead for the Wolverines. Short of a huge surprise on signing day, he's a real long shot for RichRod.
If USC is the homecoming queen, San Diego State is the less attractive but extremely, um, "reliable" hometown girl who will "recruit" you at the drop of a hat.
Word is that head coach Brady Hoke is recruiting Baxter hard to get him on an official commit to SDSU.
Issues of depth chart and size of recruiting class kind of go out the window when players of Baxter's talent are involved at this level. Barring some unforeseen event, Baxter might oblige with an official, but will otherwise look to a bigger picture.
Baxter took his first official visit to Oregon since decommitting from the Trojans.
No official word has come out on his reaction to the visit, but any time the Ducks can get a recruit on campus, the facilities and atmosphere give them a serious chance at landing a prospect.
Oregon's depth chart situation is good, not great. LaMichael James looks to have locked up a lot of playing time, but the bigger, tougher Baxter could bide his time or play into the goalline and short yardage role occupied, briefly, by LeGarrette Blount.
Pending his reaction, I'd say the Ducks have a favorable chance of usurping USC.
Baxter forestalled his commitment to USC and will be visiting Florida this coming weekend.
Meyer has worked his magic with the nation's best, spinning the questions about his health into a positive and evoking lush dreamscapes wherein recruits fulfill their football destinies playing for Meyer in Gainesville.
The Gators boast the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, and more and more recruits are being swayed at the prospect of practicing against the nation's best. What's more, there's only one true RB in the class, four-star Mack Brown, who swayed after Meyer's dramatic health saga and could still change his mind leading up to signing day.
Despite reaching the 25-man limit with the commitment of ILB Michael Taylor, there's always room for a five-star ATH and a grayshirt for one of those rare three-star kids at a position of little need. Depending on how the visit goes, Florida's riches might get even more absurd.
The Trojans are still the hometown favorite, and Baxter was excited about the prospect of playing for Lane Kiffin after seriously wavering when Pete Carroll retired.
If there's anyone that can preach reestablishing trust while practicing the complete opposite, it's Lane Kiffin. He's as suave and mendacious a recruiter as his predecessor, and will be even more successful when you factor in his relative youth and street cred (NSFW).
However, the chips are stacked against him in Baxter's case. The five-star ATH was pretty bruised by the kerfluffle at the Army All-American game, when he first heard of Carroll's departure to Seattle, and he's canceled his early enrollment to open his recruiting more fully.
I still like the odds of Baxter staying. With Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson departing early to the NFL, the Trojans' depth chart is favorable. And their recruiting class is still relatively small enough to guarantee he makes an immediate impact.
He's one of the most complete, prepared, and capable players in the class and wants to show that this fall. USC remains one of the places where that's most possible.