More Evidence the Football Monopoly in L.A. is Over: Massington Commits to UCLA

By Justine Hendricks

A few years back, the UCLA Bruins made a statement with a billboard featuring new head coach Rick Neuheisel and the phrase: “The football monopoly in Los Angeles is over.”

Except it wasn’t – the USC Trojans kept beating the Bruins, and Neuheisel, who never beat USC, was fired after his team’s 50-0 loss in the 2011 rivalry game.

A year later, with a new coach in Jim Mora, UCLA has started to rebalance the rivalry.

The Bruins finished ahead of USC in the Pac-12 South division; they embarrassed the Trojans in this year’s head-to-head match-up; and most recently, they got a commitment from a former USC recruit for next season.

Wide receiver Eldridge Massington was one member of a star-studded recruiting class that has begun to erode following the Trojans’ rough 2012 season.

Massington de-committed from USC early in December. The West Mesquite (Texas) receiver sustained a knee injury over the summer that forced him to sit out his senior season in high school. The Trojans didn’t pull the scholarship offer, and Massington planned to enroll at USC in January in order to continue the rehabilitation process with the school’s trainers. He withdrew his commitment two weeks ago when he learned that was no longer a possibility.

Since then, Massington visited Alabama, Arizona State, and UCLA. He was reportedly set to announce his decision over the weekend, but instead revealed the news on Twitter on Tuesday night.



He said recently that he really enjoyed “the lifestyle” in Alabama – all football, all the time – but it seems like he’s also a big fan of the Los Angeles area. (Can you blame him?) also reported that Massington has grandparents in Southern California, so family ties could have influenced his choice.

His desire to enroll early to rehab his knee was critical to his final decision, which Massington said was not intended as a snub for Trojans:


We’ll see how long that love lasts once Massington gets to Westwood in a few weeks. There’s never been much affection between the two programs, particularly during the long string of seasons when USC dominated the Bruins. Now that UCLA is on an upward trajectory and the Trojans are struggling across town, relations between the two don’t look like they’ll warm up anytime soon, especially now that Mora is the one winning recruiting battles.

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