In recruiting, a lot of factors end up having an impact on the final college commitment decision.
A high school football player's favorite coach or even favorite college football program may not end up getting his National Letter of Intent. Instead, a school has to appeal to a student-athlete's needs, including those of the people around him that will be assisting in the decision. That often sends a recruitment throw ebbs and flows.
Five-star Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon's recruitment came full circle on Wednesday when he chose to re-commit to Michigan over USC and Alabama. Solomon initially committed to the Wolverines, but in late August, he wrote, "Recruitment is a funny thing, you can easily get caught up in the moment and feel that everyone knows who you are." In soon came out that the people that didn't know who he was were the Michigan coaches and staff. They had spelled Solomon's name incorrect on more than one occasion and had sent a thank you note to his mother for an event she was not present for.
Though he was still considering the Wolverines, in January, unprovoked, he said, "F*** Michigan!" during a U.S. Army All-American teammate's live-stream on Periscope. Solomon apologized for the incident, but it seemed his true impressions of the Wolverines had been revealed. Instead, Jim Harbaugh and Michigan were able to rally during the final month leading up to National Signing Day and Solomon chose a white Michigan hat during a ceremony at the Lee County High gymnasium that was televised on ESPNU.
"For the next four years, I'm not only going to further my academic career, but my football career at..." Solomon said before grabbing the lid.
The 6-foot-4, 304-pound five-star is ranked the No. 2 defensive tackle in the nation. He is the No. 11 overall prospect in the 2017 class. According to the Albany Herald, Solomon finished his senior year with 77 tackles, including 16 for a loss with 12 sacks. Throughout his recruitment, Solomon said academics would play a big part in his ultimate destination. His mother said in interviews it would be her top priority.
"You can play football anywhere, but you can only get a good degree from only a certain few colleges, so I really just want to see the academic part of it," Solomon said last month.
The Trojan coaching staff laid out the academic plan at USC, which is ranked higher as a university than Michigan and Alabama by U.S. News and World Report. Another factor assisting the Trojans' effort was Solomon having grown up in Fresno, Calif. and still having family on the West Coast, but it all proved to not be enough to ultimately sway Solomon's decision.
Solomon said that making the decision was a weight lifted off his shoulders, but for him, the way the Michigan players and staff made him feel like family was one of the major factors in his ultimate decision.
Here are some highlights of what the Trojans are missing out on in potential instant impact defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon:
Also, check out our quick glance at the 2017 USC Trojans recruiting class to see the latest updates on who has signed.
Not a USCFootball.com member? Sign up now and you'll get a seven day FREE trial! Join the Peristyle Family and get all the great information from USC football practices, Trojan football and basketball games, access to the Peristyle and all of the premium recruiting updates on USCFootball.com! Become a member today!
Follow Shotgun on Twitter: @ShotgunSpr