Tucker (Ga.) defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter committed to Alabama last January, but since then, he has unofficially visited multiple schools.
Coming away from visits to Auburn and Georgia, Ledbetter decided to
take a long awaited trip to the West Coast to see USC.
“It was nice,” said Ledbetter. “It took a while to get out there. I
planned it a while ago.
“Things didn’t really work out the way I wanted them to, but I ended up
going out there the June 26 and stayed until the July 1 — just in
California period. The USC campus is beautiful. The coaches… great
“I got to see some of the (current players) workout. I did a little bit
of the camp, but I didn’t do too much. I just kind of hung out, saw the
campus, went on tours and stuff. I saw the stadium, the locker room and
I think they had a soccer game or something going on, so they had some
stuff to see.
“It was nice. Overall it’s just a beautiful campus and a beautiful
school. So I really enjoyed the visit.”
Ledbetter has never been to California before, let alone Los Angeles.
The trip gave him a lot to think about when it comes to the plethora of
college options he has earned.
That was the first time I’ve ever been out there and it’s a brand new
world,” said Ledbetter. “I enjoyed it. It was a new experience.
“It was really an eye opener away from the South. Something new. I
really enjoyed it. It was nice. I didn’t want to leave.”
Ledbetter’s main reason for visiting California was to see new USC
defensive line coach, Chris Wilson.
Wilson was the final hire to Steve Sarkisian’s staff last January, and
with stints at Georgia and Mississippi State, the veteran defensive
line coach is making good use of his connections in the South.
“Coach Wilson was at Georgia and he recruited me hard when he was
there,” said Ledbetter. “That’s how I got my first offer. As soon as
they offered me, he told me, ‘You got the Georgia offer, but I just
want to let you know that I’m probably going to SC so make sure you
come check us out too.’
“He’s a good coach with a lot of knowledge. Tremendous coach, really.
So we kept in contact and he told me to come out there in visit, so I
had to plan a trip. I actually got to go out there. I didn’t think I
would be able to.”
While USC is just one of several schools Ledbetter has visited in the
past three months, his verbal commitment to Alabama remains strong.
“I’m still flowing with the Tide,” laughed Ledbetter. “Everybody asks
me (about Alabama). I’m just seeing schools and really just enjoying
the process as a whole.
“I haven’t really made any decisions and I haven’t changed anything.
There’s been a lot of controversy and stuff like that. People are like
‘he’s going here, he’s going there,’ but at the end of the day, if I
decide to even change my mind, then I’ll do that, but it’s not changed
Although USC is far away from Georgia, and culturally different than
the South, Ledbetter is keeping an open mind about returning out west
before signing day 2015.
“I was actually thinking about taking an official,” said Ledbetter. “I
haven’t really decided yet.
“I want to sit down and write down a bunch of schools, pick a couple
from an education standpoint and also from a football standpoint and
just see where I need to take my officials and when I can fit them in.
The West Coast is far. I’d have to plan a good date for that.”
Distance would be an assumed factor in USC, Cal or any other West Coast
school having a chance to woo Ledbetter from the Southeast and Alabama.
Ledbetter’s mother has a counterpoint to that assumption.
“My mom told me something to me recently,” said Ledbetter. “She said,
‘It doesn’t matter where you go. It doesn’t matter if you’re five
minutes away from where your home is.
“Something could happen and you could still be too far away.’ It
doesn’t matter how far I am as long as I keep in contact with
everybody. I just want to be somewhere where I can be comfortable.
“It’s far away, so I want to be comfortable there. Basically like a
second home. I want to make sure it’s the right place and I can spend
four years or three years there in a comfortable environment where I
can flourish and learn a lot of good things.”
Ledbetter visits Los Angeles
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