USC Commit Eddie Vanderdoes: Recruitment Through His Father’s Eyes

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Eddie Jr. committed to USC on July 11, a huge day for Lane Kiffin and his staff, as they also nabbed offensive linemen Khaliel Rodgers and Nico Falah. With Vanderdoes joining Kenny Bigelow, Kylie Fitts and others on the D-line, Trojan fans started to get really excited about what the future of this defense could look like. Many people questioned USC’s ability to land big-name recruits because of the scholarship reduction aspect of the sanctions, but Eddie Sr. said that actually helped influence his son’s decision.

“The way we looked at it, Eddie knows the scholarship he has been offered is a position of need. With more scholarships you obviously get more guys and more depth. But without that, they really NEED him, so Eddie and these guys are going to go in with work to do.”

Though committing to USC has lifted a major weight off his son’s shoulders, the process isn’t officially over. National Signing Day isn’t until Feb. 2013, and as Eddie Sr. says, “anything can happen” between now and then. But before fans jump to the message boards and speculate on the validity of Eddie Jr.’s word, they should know that he is 100-percent committed to USC and has made no plans to take any official visits to other schools.

“He’s committed to USC and he’s firm on his commitment and loves everything about it,” Eddie Sr. says. “But he’s been playing long enough to see that a lot of things can happen. It would be foolish to assume that things are set in stone. And speaking for Eddie, that [taking more visits] is not the way he would like to do it. We see kids commit and then de-commit all the time. In my opinion that is wrong, very wrong. USC has told him though, ‘go out and take his visits.’ But he’s not gonna go out and take trips just for trips.”

“There are so many good things about so many schools, narrowing it down is hard. There have been times he almost committed to school A, school B and school C. And he was so sure he was going to go there, but the feeling he got from USC wasn’t like what he got from those schools. At USC, everything is there. Before he had an offer, he even said, ‘that defense fits me perfect.’”

Eddie Sr. continued to say that the most frustrating part about the recruitment of a child is all the misinformation that gets disseminated to the public.

“I do follow it. It’s tapered off since he’s committed, but that is the worst part. When you know your kid,” he said. “When you hear, ‘Why did he make a top 10 and then commit to USC the next day’, that kind of stuff. Narrowing down schools, the problem with that wasn’t really cutting it down to 15 and then to 10. It was cutting down on contact from schools he didn’t want to go to. So when you turn a school down, its damage control, to focus. There’s a lot that goes on in 17-year old’s head.”

Aside from just filling a need, being recruiting by the great Ed Orgeron certainly had a positive impact, Eddie Sr. notes.

“I think it was [Coach] O. that said—and it was a good point that he made about this class—was that if you look at last season, look at that team, how they did, how well they played, for nothing. Now, we get to see them play at a level for more than just pride, and it’s exciting. And this Class of 2013, they are going to be a fun group to watch.”

Like most proud parents, Eddie Vanderdoes Sr. is looking forward to the day Eddie Jr. signs with and suits up for the Trojans, when he can go forward in the next stage of his career. There’s a long way to go until that point, but in the meantime Eddie Sr. plans to support his son in the best way he knows how: by just being his dad.