Brice Butler said that he was leaving USC to play football at another Football Championship Subdivision school. He tweeted, "Always will be a part of trojan nation! No regrets, I just gotta go play fball, which isn't happening here... I love all yall! Always will."
This was confirmed by ESPN in "Trojan Receiver Brice Butler to Transfer". He told ESPN: “I’m leaving because I want to play football in the NFL and a big key to that is playing in college,” Butler wrote in a text message. “And I feel that after this season that would be a tough task staying here.”
USC is loaded in WR. Robert Woods was the Pac-10 freshman offensive player of the year and had over 200 yards receiving in one game. The other WR starter, Ronald Johnson, graduated and will play in the NFL.
In addition to Brice Butler, USC has the following WR returning:
Brandon Carswell (Sr.)
Markeith Ambles (So.)
De’Von Flournoy (So.)
Robert Woods (So.), Pac-10 freshman offensive player of the year in 2010
Kyle Prater (Fr.)
USC has the following outstanding WR committed:
George Farmer, 5-star, 6’2”/192, Gardena, CA
Victor Blackwell, 4-star, 6’1”/186, Santa Ana, CA
Kyler Prater, George Farmer and Markeith Ambles have the best chance to start opposite Robert Woods. Brice Butler would have played, but not as much as he wanted.
Butler plans to finish out the semester at USC before deciding on a new destination. Rumors are that the coaches are trying to convince him to finish out the semester and hopefully he will come out for spring ball and maybe rethink his decision, but that is unlikely now.
Butler handled himself with a ton of class at USC, and he'll be missed. It would have been great to see what he could do next year. He's got a lot more experience than the younger players, and Lane Kiffin has shown if you stick with the program, you'll get playing time; USC could use more spread offense.
Butler has great route running, height, jumping ability and is able to catch the ball at the highest point with some of the best ball skills in the nation.
Unlike some of the other athletes that have transferred due to the NCAA "free agent" rule, Brice Butler will be missed.
The only good news about this development is that USC now has 59 scholarship players, so that gives Lane Kiffin another slot to fill with a OL or LB which the Trojans need more than a WR.
P.S. Mar. 30 update: Pedro Moura of ESPN reports that Brice Butler is rethinking his options and now considers his status as pending. "I'm open to everything -- there could be a chance," Butler said Wednesday. "If you want to say a status I'm at, you can say pending as to where I'm gonna end up going." Brandon Carswell was also considering transferring and was recently identified as the MVP of the first week of spring practice with glowing praise from Lane Kiffin.
May 9 update: USC announces that Brice Butler has rejoined the team. It is nice to see him get past the ego and have the common sense to realize that USC is the best football team for him.