The 6-6, 285 lineman was very high on the Tennessee Volunteers, and even named them as his leader, before Lane Kiffin made the jump to replace Pete Carroll at USC. But with Kiffin's departure the Volunteers have now fallen out of Cullen's top three schools, which are now Oklahoma, Utah and Kansas State.
"Oklahoma is a top notch school," Cullen said. "It's one of the top ten schools every year, and it's a great opportunity to have an open spot at left tackle for me to come in and compete with one guy right away.
"At Kansas State, I love the fact that Coach Snyder is back there. He's a legend and the opportunity to play for a guy like that and do something is special.
"Utah is Utah. Personally, I consider Utah a top ten elite program every year."
While USC isn't currently in his top three, the new coaching staff is very familiar with Cullen, and he is excited to hear what the Trojans have to say.
"They said that they still want me and want me to come to USC. It's a different school but it's the same coaches," he said. "They want me to come in and I am probably going to go up there some time to check it out and hear what they have to say.
"They didn't really say straight out, ‘Hey we are offering you at USC' but I want to go up there and see what they have to say."
New USC assistant coach James Cregg has built a very strong relationship with Cullen throughout the recruiting process, and was the main reason that the impressive line prospect had the Vols in his top spot, until the coaching shakeup.
"Me and Coach Cregg have probably become the closest of any of the coaches that have recruited me. We spent a lot of time together when I was up there in Tennessee just talking football," Cullen said. "We have become really, really close. That's why when the switch happened he was the first person that I called because I wanted to see what Coach Cregg was doing."
Cullen is a local kid that graduated from La Mirada High School, and even though he grew up rooting for UCLA, he attended a camp at USC while in high school and is familiar with the program.
"Growing up I was a UCLA fan but I went to a USC camp going into my senior year in high school, and did really well, and got a write up about how I did and all that which was cool. But at that time (Matt) Kalil had committed, Tyron Smith was committed and Matt Meyer was going there so they had their class pretty much set."
So how would a USC offer shake things up?
"It would (shake things up) but I would just have to see what my opportunity is there. If there is an open opportunity to come in and play, then of course they are going to be in the mix," Cullen said. "But if they have things pretty set then I have to go to the best place for me."
Stay tuned to SCPlaybook.com for news and updates on John Cullen throughout the recruiting process.
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