Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Signing Day preview
By Pedro Moura
It's officially National Signing Day. There will be lots to talk about in the coming day, so let's get some of it out of the way here. Here's what we know about who's going where:
- Linebacker Hayes Pullard (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw) has told ESPN Rise's Greg Biggins he will be a Trojan. A week ago, this would have been a sizable surprise, but rumors pointed the 6-foot, 220-pound Pullard toward Troy in the last 48 or so hours. UCLA has signed many prominent Crenshaw products in recent years, so Pullard's signing will represent a significant coup for the Trojans — especially when it comes to 2011 prospect De'Anthony Thomas. Thomas, a likely five-star recruit, has both USC and UCLA high on his list now. Plus, Pullard is USC's first signing at linebacker.
- Nickell Robey, a cornerback from Frostproof, Fla., is also coming to USC, his father said Tuesday night. Robey was recruited by USC coach Lane Kiffin when he was at Tennessee, and his interest in the Kiffin regime carried over to USC. He's small at 5-8, 165 pounds but ultra speedy. His stature and home state will remind some of current sophomore cornerback T.J. Bryant.
- The players who are expected to fax their letters of intent to Heritage Hall on Wednesday without much debate include receiver/athlete Robert Woods (Gardena, Calif./Serra), quarterback Jesse Scroggins (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood), and defensive tackle George Uko (Chino, Calif./Don Lugo). The full list, as it stands now, has 10 solid verbal commitments — plus two early enrollees in Kyle Prater and Dillon Baxter.
- We also know that USC will not sign offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, who will sign with Alabama. Kouandjio officially visited campus last weekend but had long been interested in the Crimson Tide. USC lost a commitment in punter Matt Darr earlier this week when Darr switched to Fresno State.
Now, for the players who still have decisions to make:
- It starts with juco linebacker Glen Stanley, who will make his announcement in his hometown of Ocala, Fla., at 5:30 a.m. PST. Stanley will likely decide between USC and Tennessee. He's currently committed to the Volunteers.
- Safety Dietrich Riley (La Canada, Calif./St. Francis), profiled in the Los Angeles Times this week, has wavered between USC and UCLA all throughout the process. It's also possible he could decide on another high-profile school like Notre Dame. His announcement comes live on ESPNU at 1:30 p.m.
- The ever-popular Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham)will announce his decision on CSTV at 12 p.m from New York City. Henderson has not given any inclinations to where he will sign, although recent reports have him pegged as a Trojan. We won't know until he says for sure, but Henderson is surely a physical specimen at 6-8, 300 pounds. He plays basketball too.
- Two more players who will decide between USC and UCLA, linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) and Giovanni Di Poalo (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) will not make formal announcements. Instead, both Zumwalt and Di Poalo will just send their letters to the schools and let them spread the word.
- Other announcements will come from Sean Parker (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) at 6:45 a.m., Florida product Chaz Green (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic) at 12:30 p.m., and Josh Shirley (Fontana, Calif./Kaiser) and Christian Thomas (Palmdale, Calif./Highland) at 1 p.m. Georgia product Markeith Ambles (McDonough, Ga./Henry County) is scheduled for an 8 a.m. announcement, but some reports have him holding off on a decision. Ambles, deciding between North Carolina, USC, and Tennessee, tweeted Tuesday night: "who will i be tomorrow a vol, trogan, or tar heel!!!!!!" Yes, he mispelled "Trojan." And he's wearing a UNC hat in his Twitter background.
- Faxes can begin to arrive at Heritage Hall as early as 4 a.m. PST. We'll have frequent updates on the blog throughout the day, but the official USC blog will have real-time updates — and humorous late-night posts, like this one.