After landing a scholarship offer last week, unheralded safety prospect Uchenna Nwosu (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) needed only four days to commit to nearby USC. There were many factors, but proximity played the biggest role in his decision.
WeAreSC caught up with the 6-foot-3, 195-pound athlete to break down USC's first commitment since the firing of Lane Kiffin:
WeAreSC: The offer arrived on Friday and you made your decision quickly. How important was it for you to get this out of the way?
Nwosu: I actually thought about it quite hard. I guess it was a short time in between, but it felt like forever to me.
WeAreSC: What was the biggest factor?
Nwosu: I want to keep playing football and stay close to home at the same time. A lot of decision making came through my coaches and family, and I thought about it hard. I came to this conclusion. The coaches like my pass-rushing skills and how I can drop into coverage. They also like to see me fly after the quarterback on the blitz.
WeAreSC: You have only started five varsity games, all coming this year as a senior. How has your high school career unraveled and what do you envision in the future?
Nwosu: Starting out high school, I played basketball my freshman and sophomore years. I went into coach [Narbonne coach] Manual Douglas' office my 10th grade year and told him, ‘Uh, coach, I'm not too sure I want to play football. I just want to focus on basketball.’ And he told me, ‘You're about 6-feet-2. If you don't have handles like Allen Iverson, you might not make it to college.’ After that year, I told him I wanted to play football and he responded, ‘What did I tell you? What did I tell you?’ I started playing football from then on. My junior year I played junior varsity and moved up to varsity for playoffs to back up Keishawn Bierria, who is now at Washington. When he graduated it gave me an opportunity to step up. The five varsity games this year have been good so far.
WeAreSC: What was the reaction like when you told the coaching staff you were committing.
Nwosu: They were excited. I could already tell they had smiles on their faces as soon as I called them.
WeAreSC: Which other schools are recruiting you at this point?
Nwosu: My other offers are from Oregon State, Portland State and Wyoming. Colorado, San Jose State and UTEP are also coming after me.
WeAreSC: Was the decision more difficult to make given the uncertainty following the recent coaching change?
Nwosu: It didn't really affect me. USC is USC. They are going to continue to be a great program. They have nothing to do now except get better. I have nothing to worry about. I'm glad I'm a Trojan.