The college football recruiting trail is filled with twists and turns as 18-year old prospects across the country get wined, dined and promised the moon as they try and make decisions on where they’ll continue their football careers. Few journeys have been as back-and-forth, however, as defensive end Jason Hatcher and the USC Trojans.
At first, the four-star recruit was firmly committed to USC. Then he wasn’t as he flirted with the idea of picking a program a little closer to his Lexington, Kentucky, home. But just days ago, he recommitted to USC and seemingly brought some stability to a tumultuous recruiting period for Lane Kiffin and the Trojans. Today, he’s once again reversed course and according to sources close to Gerard Martinez of USCFootball.com, Hatcher will not sign with USC on signing day tomorrow.
Losing Hatcher (again) is a big blow to the USC recruiting class that has seen plenty of defections in the lead-up to to national signing day. Having it come just a day before-hand leaves USC with little time to recover and try and replace Hatcher, likely leaving them with a smaller signing class when the pens hit the letters of intent tomorrow. The USC class for 2013 now sits at just 13 commits, though the Trojans still rank in the top 20 recruiting classes this season.
The Kentucky Wildcats become the beneficiary of Hatcher’s change of heart, signing the 6-foot-2, 240-pound defensive end and keeping him in-state for the foreseeable future. Mark Stoops has put together an excellent class for his first year in Lexington, which is now headlined by his ability to flip Hatcher from the clutches of the Trojans.
USC was hoping to add some much-needed depth to their defensive line in this recruiting class, but with the defection of Hatcher along with Kyle Fitts and Eddie Vanderdoes, the Trojans will have to find help for their front four elsewhere.