Vanderdoes De-Commits from USC

Auburn (Calif.) Placer defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes committed to USC back in July but has decided to open up his recruitment and is no longer committed to the Trojans...

Eddie Vanderdoes, the top lineman in the West and a top 10 player nationally regardless of position, actually made his decision to de-commit almost a month ago and has already told the USC staff.

"I called up Coach Helton and told him over the phone I wanted to open things up," Vanderdoes said. "Then I had a home visit with Coach Helton and Coach Orgeron and told them in person. This was probably the week before I took my visit to Washington. It definitely wasn't an easy decision for me but I felt like it was the best thing for me to do.

"They were great about it but made sure I knew how badly they still wanted me to be a Trojan. They said they're still going to come after me harder than ever and I respect that and have no problem with. I have a great relationship with Coach Orgeron and he's a great DL coach and I really like Coach Helton too.

"It was nothing against USC and I told them that. USC is still high on my list and I still plan to take my official visit there (Jan. 18). I just felt like I had some other great options and I wanted to give them a fair look. I don't think you can really do that if you're still committed to a school. Right now, I'm basically back to square one in the sense that I don't have anyone leading and all the schools I'm looking at are all even."

Vanderdoes said he wanted to announce his de-commitment now, prior to the Army All-American game, so he didn't feel like he had to lie when asked about his commitment.

"I know there's going to be a ton of media at the Army practices," Vanderdoes said. "I've been de-committed for three weeks and I don't like having to tell people I'm committed when I'm not. I know putting this out there will probably make it crazy for me at the game with everyone wanting to know why and what happened and players hitting me up but I would rather deal with that than having to lie to people and say how strong my commitment is when I'm not even committed anymore.

"Like I said before, USC did nothing wrong, this isn't about them. UCLA, Washington and Notre Dame came in for home visits and gave me a lot to think about. I had a great official trip to UCLA and to Washington and I feel I owe it to myself to take a step back and make sure I'm doing the right thing. I'm going to visit Notre Dame but still need to set the date and then I plan to announce my final decision on Signing Day."

So with six weeks to go before Signing Day, what is Vanderdoes now looking for in a college?

"I'm looking at all the same things I was looking at before I committed," Vanderdoes said. "A place where I'm comfortable with the school, football wise, socially and academically. A place where I like the coaches and the defensive system, the opportunities the school can provide after I'm done playing football and a program that I think is going in the right direction and has a chance to compete for championships.

"USC has all those qualities but the others do as well so I'm trying to find the best overall fit. I always pride myself on being a man of my word so this was very hard to do for me but as we got closer to Signing Day, I knew I wanted to take a step back and re-evaluate everything to make sure I was doing the right thing. This isn't just a four year decision for me, it's a life decision and I want to be 100% sure on it and won't have any regrets."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
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