Eldridge Massington, a four-star wide receiver from West Mesquite (Texas) High School, suffered a tear of his left ACL when he landed awkwardly while participating in a one-on-one-drill at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex.
"I don't know yet but they think I tore my ACL; I had an MRI earlier," he said of the non-contact injury. "I came down on it in one-on-ones."
The MRI confirmed the preliminary diagnosis: The ACL is torn.
Showing remarkable poise in the face of such a terrible break, Massington shrugged off the injury by noting: "I'll be all right."
Asked how the USC staff reacted to the news, Massington replied: "I don't know. I haven't told nobody yet."
Before he shut down his recruitment, he says the Vols were among the front-runners for his services.
"They were," he said, citing "the fan base and the fact they play a lot of young players" as points in Tennessee's favor.
Prior to the injury, he said he the Vol camp "was going great for me," subsequently adding: "Coach (Derek) Dooley is real cool. He's going to keep it real with you all the time."
Rated the No. 26 wide receiver prospect in America by Scout.com, Massington says he caught 41 passes for 666 yards in 2011 despite playing in just four games due to a turf-toe injury. He packs 205 pounds on a 6-foot-3 frame, yet recently clocked a 10.74 in the 100 meters to finish third in the Class 4A division of the Texas State Track & Field Championships.
"I would say I'm a big receiver that can play like a small receiver," he said. "I can run routes, I've got speed and I can go get the ball."
Though highly sought nationally, Massington decided to end the recruiting process shortly after he visited Southern Cal in May.
"When I got to USC I was solid," he said. "I knew I wanted to go to USC since childhood."
Two months and one traumatic injury later, Massington said he's still bound for Southern Cal.
"I'm locked in on the Trojans," he said.
Look for Tennessee to keep pitching, however, just in case ...