Kyle Prater considers Big Ten schools

Updated: January 10, 2012, 7:26 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Kyle Prater said Tuesday he is highly considering Illinois, Northwestern and Wisconsin as possible destinations after recently deciding to transfer from USC.

Prater, who is 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, announced Monday he was leaving USC after two injury-plagued years there. He redshirted his first year after suffering thumb and hamstring injuries. He caught one pass for six yards while dealing with foot and hip injuries this past season.

Prater was ranked No. 45 in the Class of 2010 by ESPN coming out of Proviso West High School in Hillside, Ill. He had 64 receptions for 1,151 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior season.

Prater has received his USC release, which states he cannot transfer to any other Pac-12 school or Notre Dame.

"Illinois, Northwestern and Wisconsin are my favorites right now, but I'm not holding anyone back," Prater said by phone on Tuesday. "But I'm not trying to make this thing like it was in high school as far as the recruiting games and having all the schools after you.

"I like all three of those schools because they're close to home, and I looked and all three teams throw the ball. It's a matter of which is the better fit."

Prater said he would likely return to home from USC in the next week and sit down with his family to discuss his decision. He said his family would play a major factor in wherever he chooses.

"Probably one of the main reasons for my transfer is stuff that falls back at home," Prater said. "A lot of stuff is personal that I can't release. It's not major, but I want to make sure I get close to home."

Prater also acknowledged his injuries set him back at USC. But he didn't expect them to be a problem going forward.

"The injuries I had I've forgotten about," Prater said. "That's how I look at it. The problem was I either came back too fast or overexerted myself. What I learned now is I have to listen to my body.

"I'm ready to start a new leaf and start all over. I'm just ready to work hard again. I'm probably going to be the same kid coming out of high school or even better."

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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