By almost every account Everson Griffen (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) was as much of a lock for USC as you would run across. Griffen may still end up playing for the Trojans, but after several visits by the Notre Dame coaching staff, the Irish may still have an opportunity to sign the nation top defensive end.
"Notre Dame? Yes," Griffen responded when asked if the Irish had a chance to earn his signature on signing day. "Coach Oliver and coach Weis came in last week, and coach Oliver and coach Minter came in this week. It went good.
"I just like them. I like all three schools that I'm considering. Everyone is in the running."
As late as November 25 Griffen named USC as his leader, but he now contends that Michigan, Notre Dame and USC are on equal footing.
"No, not yet," Griffen replied when asked if any school was emerging as his leader. "I'm going to talk to my mom. She's not going to tell me where to go, but we're going to sit down and talk about things.
"I get along with everyone, so I'll find the one I feel most comfortable at. You have to compete anywhere you go, so depth chart really doesn't bother me.
"I think I'll make my decision next week or the week after. I don't know yet, but I think it'll come sometime soon," he said. "I was going to announce at the Army All-American game, but I just want to get it done."