Mon Mar 15 12:28pm EDT
Good news for USC, part one: Hotly sought recruit Seantrel Henderson, the top-ranked Minnesota behemoth who seemed to be wavering on his verbal commitment to the Trojans since withholding his signature on signing day, was academically cleared last week and plans to sign a letter of intent to SC in the next few days:
Henderson, the top-ranked recruit in the nation for his class, had committed to USC on Feb. 2 in front of a national television audience in New York, but waited to officially sign. USC is under investigation by the NCAA, but Sean Henderson, Seantrel's dad, said Monday his son is committed to the Trojans.
Seantrel Henderson had been waiting to see if USC would be sanctioned, but he made a final decision on Sunday night and confirmed it Monday morning.
"We are definitely, 100-percent USC," Sean Henderson said.
Good news for USC, part two: Besides solidifying a staggeringly good recruiting class that already includes four other five-star prospects (out of just 26 recruits nationally afforded the distinction by Rivals), Henderson's recommitment also is a hopeful sign that the damage handed down by the NCAA's Infractions Committee won't be the crippling blow Trojan fans have feared (and for which Trojans haters have so lustily yearned) since the epic Reggie Bush scandal first broke four years ago. Henderson's stated reason for holding out on Feb. 3 was concern over major sanctions with the school's secretive hearing in front of the Infractions Committee on the horizon later in the month. Now that they've passed, we don't know anything from those proceedings that we didn't know going in, but whatever vibe the Henderson clan is getting from USC in the meantime has obviously convinced them the Trojans are still worth the gamble. We'll know for sure when the NCAA issues its ruling sometime in April.
Of course, this was the easy part. Now Henderson is expected to become one of the most physically dominant members of a lineup already consisting almost entirely of former high school All-Americans. Good luck, big guy, but remember: From here on, recruiting stars (like all kinds of stars in L.A.) are a dime a dozen.
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