Kan Li | Scout

USC football recruiting: Jachai Polite can't be flipped, signs with Florida

USC makes a late run at a defensive lineman from Leonard Williams' alma mater, but can't pull off the flip of Jachai Polite.

USC once pulled a National Signing Day coup by stealing a defensive lineman from Daytona Beach's Mainland High. That turned out to be their best defensive recruit of the decade as Big Leonard Williams turned into an All-American and the No. 6 overall pick -- the highest a Trojan defender has been drafted since Darrell Russell in 1997.

The Trojans tried to repeat history on Wednesday, but couldn't complete a flip of Mainland three-star defensive end Jachai Polite. Polite stuck with November commitment to Florida. He signed with the Gators on National Signing Day, per his new head coach's Twitter account.

The 6-foot-4, 226-pound defensive lineman is rated as the No. 50 defensive end recruit in the 2016 class and the No. 6 end from the Sunshine State. USC got Polite to visit for the Jan. 22 weekend and gave him something to think about. He tweeted a photo of Florida head coach Jim McElwain and USC head coach Clay Helton with the caption "Hard decision."

The Trojans recruited him as both a defensive end and tight end after he caught four passes for 82 yards, including a pair of touchdowns. On the defensive side, Polite averaged 6.1 tackles per game, finishing with 81 tackles, including 29 for loss. Thirteen of those tackles behind the line of scrimmage were sacks and Polite proved to be anything but what his name belies.


USCFootball.com Top Stories