Four-star cornerback Chris Steele is reportedly planning to join USC football this summer, ending a wild recruiting and transfer saga.
Just when you thought USC football’s week couldn’t get any better, with wide receivers Bru McCoy and Velus Jones Jr. returning to the fold, the transfer portal has worked in the Trojans favor again.
Four-star cornerback Chris Steele, out of St. John Bosco, has decided to forgo his commitment to Oregon in favor of transferring to USC, according to Andrew Nemec of The Oregonian.
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On Tuesday night, Nemec originally quoted a “well-placed source” that Steele had chosen the Trojans. He has since doubled down on the report, commenting “since the article was published, I’ve had multiple sources confirm my report. He’s going to USC.”
That means the Trojans much-maligned 2019 recruiting class will now include three of California’s top six recruits: McCoy, wide receiver Kyle Ford and Steele.
Steel ranked 41st nationally and sixth in the state coming out of high school, per the 247Sports composite. He was judged as the fourth-best cornerback in the class.
USC’s involvement in the Steele recruitment saga has been long and winding.
Steele committed to USC back in July of 2018, only to decommit from the Trojans in October as the season began to unravel.
Though USC was still involved in the pursuit of his signature heading into December, turbulence on the coaching staff and within the program ensured that Steele would commit to and sign with Florida on Early Signing Day.
The cornerback spent the spring in Gainesville, but his time there was cut short by complex circumstances.
Steele opted to transfer away from the Gators, reportedly due to a dispute with the Florida coaching staff. His desire to change dorms because of concerns over his roommate, a fellow football player, was not resolved to his satisfaction. The fact that said roommate was accused of sexual assault added to the incentive for Steele to pack up and leave.
Even then, the saga stayed unconventional.
Steele considered his options for a transfer and ultimately decided, not on USC, but Oregon. He announced his commitment to the Ducks in the middle of May.
Just like his commitment to the Trojans didn’t stick last fall. His spring commitment to the Ducks didn’t last into the summer. He is now set to put on cardinal and gold after a wild 12 months.
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Getting Steele to USC isn’t without its complications. Obviously something has been worked out on the scholarship math side of things, but when Steele first went back on the transfer market, it wasn’t immediately clear the Trojans would have room for him.
Having signed a class with 27 newcomers, plus adding Tennessee offensive tackle Drew Richmond and gray shirt wide receiver John Jackson II, USC may have maxed out its additions for 2019. Of course, the Trojans could have made room by counting a number of their allotted 25 initial scholarship counters against the class of 2018. Otherwise, further defections may be on the horizon.