Former Archer OL E.J. Price is leaving Southern California, his head coach confirmed on Tuesday night.
"I felt like he should find a school closer to his home . . . a really good kid . . .a part of our family,” USC coach Clay Helton said.
According to reporting from USCFootball.com, Price is homesick, and not being disruptive - as has been rumored online.
“It's the kind of thing that happens everywhere. Young man crosses the country, gets homesick, doesn't have as much success playing right away, has some ‘personal family issues,’ Clay called them and ends up wondering what to do. Even a five-star, 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive tackle like Georgian E.J. Price, who USC thought could become the backup at left tackle if he worked at it.
Only no one could foresee how this would play out with an Internet rumor going viral to the point that Deadspin even did a serious story on it how Price had punched Clay at the Stanford game. Clay said he had to be told what ‘social media’ was making of an untrue story. ‘I hate that that goes on,’ Clay said.
But go on it did, this story about EJ punching him in the face. ‘Which is funny,’ Clay said in denying that any such thing had happened. ‘I wouldn't be here, I'd be dead.’”
Price committed to Mark Richt and UGA in the summer of 2015, but he backed off that commitment in the fall. After UGA fired Richt, Kirby Smart continued to recruit him, but he picked USC on Signing Day.
A day after Signing Day, Price showed that he had a good relationship with Kirby by releasing two direct messages clearing up that Price did have an offer from UGA, and that Price “Always got a home in ga.” and to “come see us in the offseason”.