Whitney signs with USC

Originally from Moore (Okla.), four-star wide receiver Isaac Whitney was excited and relieved to fax his letter of intent into USC Thursday afternoon from the STARS Training facility in Anaheim.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Riverside City College four-star wide receiver Isaac Whitney took the road less traveled to USC Thursday.

Signing with the Trojans as a midyear graduate in front of media, family and friends at the STARS Training Facility, Whitney announced his commitment to USC at the same venue where it all started for him in California.

“I originally came out here to train at STARS,” explained Whitney. “A lot of D-I guys and NFL players were working out there, and I knew some guys training the players, so they told me to come out.

“We had a coaching change back at Central Oklahoma, so I was already weighing my options to leave. But there’s a lot that goes with that.

“The other players training at STARS were like, ‘You should come out here and play J.C. ball because you’ll get more looks.’ That’s when I started talking with the coaches at RCC and LBCC.”

The move wasn’t as easy as it sounds. While Whitney has been painted as a lifetime USC fan, that’s not entirely true.

“USC was a school that I already started to follow because it was the school my uncle liked,” said Whitney. “He lived out here, but I was always an OU fan because I’m from Oklahoma.

“So it wasn’t all about coming to California to be recruited by USC. That seemed like a good idea because it was close and my uncle was leaning toward me going there, but that was only part of it.”

However, Whitney’s scholarship from USC in October was a significant moment in his recruitment.

But with a dozen scholarship offers to play other schools, the Trojans needed to follow up their scholarship offer with more than just a logo and a smile.

“It came down to Coach Tee Martin and Coach (Steve) Sarkisian,” said Whitney. “Coach Tee is a really cool guy and we have a great relationship already. I really like the coaches at USC.

“The facilities are real nice, and then there’s the location, which is great. It took a leap of faith to come out here from Oklahoma, but I'm glad I did.

“Plus, I really think USC is going to win a championship real soon. It would be cool to be a part of that too.”

With junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor draft eligible, Whitney sees a potential opening to help get USC to that national championship.

“I’m ready to play D-I and make an impact,” said Whitney. “I only have two years left, so I just want to go in and play and make the most of it.

“A lot of guys aren’t midyears, so that’s an advantage. It’s big for me. I’ve played juco and D-II, so I probably have an advantage there too.

“Coach Tee says he’s looking for that big wide out, and he just really liked me. He feels like I can come in and do something right away for the program. Coach Sark has been saying he wants big receivers for a while.

“He has a plan, so I think he might do something crazy.”

Without a wide receiver on the roster more than 6-foot-2 in height, Whitney explained why size could create a new dimension in the Trojans’ passing game next season.

“I think with bigger receivers, it’s all about getting off the jam,” said Whitney. “Coach Tee feels like they don’t have big guys that can stretch the field.

“They have Nelson and Juju (Smith), but De’Quan (Hampton) and I are both two or three inches taller than them. They want somebody that can go up and get the ball.”

Long Beach City College wide receiver De’Quan Hampton joins Whitney in the 2015 class of commitments for USC. With Hampton at 6-foot-4, 220-pound and Whitney at 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, the two bring instant size and maturity to the line up.

“It’s going to be something special,” said Whitney. “For the first time in a while, USC can recruit all of the guys they wanted. It’s going to be a good class and I really believe we will be in the running for a championship next year. If not next year, the year after that.”

Whitney becomes commitment No. 18 on paper for USC as the nation’s No. 13 junior college player nationally. He is also the first player in the class of 2015 to sign a letter of intent to USC.

The Trojans also have finical aid agreements signed with five-star quarterback Ricky Town, five-star offensive tackle Chuma Edoga, four-star linebacker Cameron Smith and four-star offensive tackle Roy Hemsley.

All five players will enroll at USC in early January and be eligible for spring football.

This past season, Whitney had 49 catches for 800 yards and four touchdowns for Riverside City College. Choosing USC over West Virginia Thursday, Whitney enjoyed the recruiting process, but is ready for the next level.

“It was exciting at first, getting all of the calls,” said Whitney, “but then it got old after a while. I got really tired of it, but I’m glad everything happened the way it did.

"This is kind of like a dream come true. This is why I was out there working so hard. To get that offer from USC was a relief and now I’m ready to be a Trojan.

"I never second guessed making the move. I just believed God had a plan for me and it all worked out.”

Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more from Isaac Whitney’s signing Thursday, including video and photos.

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