LSU reacts to McKnight's decision

BATON ROUGE, La. – The verdict is in – and it is USC.

John Curtis Christian running back Joe McKnight made it official in a press conference in River Ridge Wednesday morning that he will attend Southern California.


The 5-11, 193 pound running back announced his decision choosing the Trojans over LSU, Ole Miss and Alabama.


"I will attend the University of Southern California," McKnight said. "It was a close decision, very close. But I sat down with my mom and laid out the pros and cons of all the schools and we both agreed that this was the best decision for me. It feels very good right now."


The mood in Baton Rouge was one of cautious optimism, that was until McKnight pulled out the maroon USC hat from under the table and placed it on his head. Thousands of groans rolled throughout the Baton Rouge River Center at the 12th annual Bayou Bash Recruiting Party in downtown Baton Rouge as almost 5,000 fans watched McKnight's press conference on three big screens


"I think everyone in Louisiana is surprised at the moment," said Tiger Rag senior recruiting analyst Sonny Shipp. "Although everyone felt USC was a real threat, everyone also probably felt that the distance factor would pull him to LSU."


Despite the loss of McKnight to Los Angeles, LSU is still expected to finish with a top five recruiting class. No. 1 rated wideout prospect Terrance Toliver of Hempstead, Texas committed to the Tigers on Tuesday and should highlight the Tigers signing class. Also, LSU is awaiting word on Baton Rouge-Southern Lab's Chad Jones, the nation's No. 1 rated safety.


"Even though LSU lost out on McKnight, this should be an outstanding class," Shipp said. "With the amount of quality prospects LSU has secured, the Tigers should finish anywhere from third to fifth in the final recruiting rankings."


Stay tuned to throughout the day for continuing recruiting coverage of National Signing Day.

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