Cornerback Chris Steele is apparently not going to Oregon.
Less than a month after the Florida transfer said he was heading to Eugene, Steele’s father, Norm, told Rivals’ TrojanSports.com that his son was planning on enrolling at USC.
Steele, a 5-star member of Florida’s recruiting class, enrolled early in January. But he was reportedly uncomfortable with his rooming situation and did not appreciate the way that Florida’s coaching staff handled his concerns.
Steele was roommates with now-former Florida QB Jalon Jones, a player who left the school after he was accused of two instances of sexual battery in the same night. Jones was not charged regarding either incident but Steele was named as a witness in one of the incident reports after he allegedly entered the room as one of the alleged assaults was happening.
Steele had requested a room change before the allegations.
On May 9, Steele said he was transferring from Florida. Five days later he tweeted that he was going to Oregon. That tweet has since been deleted.
Steele’s mother got laid off in May
In an interview with The Athletic, Steele said that his mother lost her job effective June 16. Without that job, it would have made it financially very tough for his family to travel to his games. Steele is a Los Angeles-area native.
They started talking about two weeks ago, right around the time I committed. She went to work on Monday and got her official notice. On June 16, she won’t have a job anymore with the school district. I don’t come from the wealthiest family, so financially it was going to be very hard. And then on top of that, my grandma is on dialysis. So with my mom losing her job, she’s going to be a provider for my grandma just to get a few dollars flowing in. And then, you know, I think it’ll just be a lot easier if I stayed home. I came to the decision that I’ll be able to support my mom financially. It doesn’t happen every day that an 18-year-old has to try and help support his family. It’s tough. But I mean, you have to make it work. That’s the reason why I’m not going to Oregon anymore. It was going to be too much for my parents. I know a lot of people don’t understand it, but recruits, players, we’re all human like everybody else. We deal with real-life situations. It was something that was important to me, my faith, family and football, and my education.
Steele previously was a verbal commit to USC
USC isn’t an out-of-nowhere choice for Steele. He verbally committed to the Trojans before he signed with Florida and things changed at USC after he said he was heading to Oregon.
He publicly committed to Oregon soon thereafter, at which time USC didn't have a scholarship spot in the 2019 class available. That has since changed with the expectation that at least one member of the Trojans' 2019 signing class will not qualify academically.
Steele visited Oregon last week and was on campus at USC on Monday meeting with the coaches, as was fellow high-profile 5-star transfer Bru McCoy, who had initially signed with the Trojans before quickly transferring to Texas in January.
McCoy and Steele are friends and will now both play college football together. We think. McCoy originally enrolled early at USC after the arrival of Kliff Kingsbury as the team’s offensive coordinator. But when Kingsbury left for the Arizona Cardinals, McCoy transferred to Texas before telling the Longhorns late last week that he’s leaving Austin.
McCoy is widely expected to enroll at USC. Steele could end up being an important contributor in 2019 if he gets an NCAA waiver to play immediately.
There is confidence that Chris Steele can get an NCAA waiver that will allow him to play this fall, due to circumstances he faced at Florida. Based on his pedigree at St. John Bosco, Steele could start from day one at USC. At minimum, he would help depth at a position of need.
— Brady McCollough (@BradyMcCollough) June 5, 2019
The arrivals of McCoy and Steele are a huge boost after a tumultuous 2018 and ensuing offseason at USC. The Trojans missed a bowl game and thought they hit it big with the hire of former Texas Tech coach Kingsbury as the team’s offensive coordinator.
But Kingsbury left after a short time as USC’s OC to be the head coach of the Cardinals. That left USC looking for an offensive coordinator again and the school ended up hiring North Texas offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
Before McCoy and Steele, USC had no five-star recruits in the 2019 class and had the No. 19 recruiting haul according to Rivals.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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