USC Football Recruiting: Alex Anzalone Has Final Three, Rules Out Trojans


Four-star linebacker recruit Alex Anzalone will decide on his commitment next weekend in Oregon, where he will decide between his final three college choices: Florida, Notre Dame and Penn State.

Anzalone told Tim Tolley of Victory Bell Rings that he was set to make his decision at The Opening, which runs from July 5-8. The camp, held at the Nike World Headquarters, is a selective four-day invitational training camp that brings Nike’s influence and technology to the nation’s best recruits.

The final three of Florida, Notre Dame and Penn State isn’t exactly surprising when it comes to Anzalone. Florida is starting three upperclassmen at linebacker in 2012, while Penn State is close to Anzalone’s home in Pennsylvania.

As if there wasn’t already an easterm lean to overcome for Anzalone, the commitment of Michael Hutchings at outside linebacker took USC’s chances from slim to none.

Despite having just 15 scholarships available, USC’s high concentration of talent both on the roster and in the Class of 2013 could rule the Trojans out on a few more recruits than just Anzalone.

It’s rather ironic for the Trojans to be considered ‘deep’ when having to play with fewer lettermen, but that sort of happens by default when you put together a class like USC is, with a bevy of top-shelf talent and not a single three-star commit.

At the linebacker position in particular, the Trojans have Hayes Pullard, Dion Bailey and Lamar Dawson for a maximum of three more seasons, despite incoming freshmen Scott Starr and Jabari Ruffin already waiting in the wings. Add in Michael Hutchings in 2013, and there simply isn’t a chance that a recruit as highly-touted as Anzalone would welcome a competition for playing time that he likely won’t win for some time.

Although the Trojans were never in the drivers seat for Anzalone, you can’t say there wasn’t considerable interest from the player. A trip to USC in the spring warranted high praise from the linebacker, as Anzalone said his visit to USC was better than his stop at UCLA.

Also, Lane Kiffin was pretty high on Anzalone back in April, and so much so that he suggested that Anzalone could accelerate his high school graduation over the summer and re-classify to the Class of 2012.

Alex Anzalone ultimately committed to Ohio State back towards the end of April, but a scandal tying him to pictures with sex offender and Ohio State superfan, Charlie Waugh, forced him to decommit from the Buckeyes in early May.

This go around, you have to think that Anzalone will be making a decision that he’s set on keeping, giving his experience with his OSU commit. Then again, looking back at the odd circumstances revolving his decommitment, being pledged to a school will probably be more of a relief to Anzalone than anything.