Days after 2013 West Mesquite (TX) wide receiver Eldridge Massington said that USC was the only official visit he had planned, the consensus four-star prospect decided to reopen his recruitment on Tuesday and decommit from the Trojans.
Massington had planned on taking his official visit to California this weekend and had hosted USC for a recent in-home visit, one that he had sounded excited about when he found out:
On the day of the visit, the 6-3, 205-pounder sounded like he wanted to help USC recover ($) from a disappointing season:
The way I look at it is, we're going to be part of the solution to fixing things at USC. I think things will change fast when our class gets there as a group. Every one of us committed to USC because that's the place we really want to be. It wasn't because of the hype or anything like that. It's just a great place and I love USC.
Following the news of Massington's decommitment breaking, the former USC pledge had yet changed his profile on Twitter to reflect his new status, but did offer up this thought:
Everything happen for a reason, Trusting in God's plan for my future!!— eldridge massington (@OH_GOTTAMAN) December 4, 2012
The tweet sounds more like a player trying to rationalize an injury or a tragedy than a formerly unhappy commit now excited to be back on the open market.
And Massington certainly has had to deal with an injury, as he is currently recovering from an ACL tear he suffered while at a Tennessee camp during the summer, two months after committing to the Trojans in early May. Lane Kiffin and his staff had said that they were going to honor his scholarship.
So what happened?
It's not entirely clear. The West Mesquite star who turned heads on the track this spring by running sub-10.6 100m dashes had planned on enrolling early ($):
I won't be able to get to USC in January, and I need to get somewhere for my knee to make sure it really gets to 100 percent. I want to make sure it gets professional rehab.
It's pretty frustrating for me. I've been working my butt off. My knee feels good right now. I can start running routes.
Scout's Erin Hartigan also described Massington as "upset" about the decision, while Damon Sayles of ESPN reported that the decommitment happened after speaking with the USC coaches, most likely during their recent in-home visit.
Putting it all together, it sounds like The Opening alum got dropped by the Trojans, who now have two open spots in the class with several major targets left on their board. It was a danger for Massington ever since his knee injury and it appears that head coach Lane Kiffin finally pulled the plug on him.
It's a decision that may not play well with Texas coaches. It certainly didn't for someone who covers recruiting in the state:
Lane Kiffin showing he's really not a good person #txhsfb coaches beware when they come to recruit your kids.— Matt Stepp (@Matt_SteppTOC) December 4, 2012
A national recruit with offers from schools like Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, and TCU, Massington will now have to scramble to set up official visits and determine which schools still have room for him. And could have to delay his decision to enroll early, too.
And USC coaches may not be particularly welcome around West Mesquite any time soon.