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LOS ANGELES -- University of Southern California signee Steve Dillon failed to qualify academically this week and now seeks his release from the school, he confirmed in a text message to ESPNLosAngeles.com Tuesday.
Dillon, a Palmdale (Calif.) defensive lineman in the Class of 2011, did not receive the necessary grades in summer school classes to meet NCAA-mandated minimums. He sent in his signed scholarship release Monday and now awaits USC's return of the forms.
Dillon verbally committed to USC last October and stayed with the school despite not receiving a letter of intent on National Signing Day in February because of academic issues. After he showed the USC admissions department updated SAT scores and grades in March, he was provided the LOI, which he immediately signed and sent off to the school.
That made him the 31st official member of USC's 2011 recruiting class, although eight of those players began classes at the school in January as early enrollees. His non-arrival means the Trojans will have one more scholarship to work with in the coming years as Lane Kiffin and Co. attempt to make do with fewer players due to NCAA sanctions-related recruiting restrictions.
As a high school senior, Dillon recorded 74 tackles and nine sacks for Palmdale, a school roughly 70 miles northeast of USC in the Antelope Valley. He earned All-CIF Western Division honors as a junior in 2009 while rotating between defensive end and tight end.
He said he is considering both the junior college route and other Division I schools, where he would potentially have to delay enrollment until January to meet academic requirements. He was being recruited by Washington, California and Arizona State, among others, until signing with USC in March.Pedro Moura is co-author of the USC blog on ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.