- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
The USC Trojans added another piece to their 2013 recruiting class on Saturday afternoon, as they received a verbal commitment from defensive end Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley).
"All glory to God, and with that said, I did commit to the University of Southern California today," Fitts said. "It's a dream come true. That has always been a dream school for me. Growing up I always wanted to go there. I'm really happy right now."
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Fitts fills a need for the Trojans as they look to continue to build up the defensive line, and Fitts will fill one of the three available early enrollee slots, as well. His commitment ends an interesting recruiting saga that saw the Trojans begin well out in front as the hometown favorite but then fall behind when an offer wasn't extended during February's junior day. But when an offer was extended in the following weeks, Lane Kiffin and staff quickly established themselves as the frontrunner for Fitts' services.
Fitts said his original plan was to set up an unofficial visit with USC in about a month, but when he showed up for USC's spring game about four hours before it started, the Trojans coaches already had set up his visit.
"I talked with everyone, and it was just a no-doubted," Fitts said about changing his plans. "I talked with the coaches, had a sit down with Coach [John] Baxter where we went over his Academic Gameplan. I got to sit down with Pat Haden and talk with him for a while about football and life."
Fitts will be added to a recruiting class that already features a big-time defensive tackle in Kenny Bigelow (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), as well as quarterback Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) and cornerback Chris Hawkins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga). There has been some indication that the Trojans could be putting together a tremendous class, as high-profile West Coast recruits bond and commit to the same school, but Fitts said this was a personal decision.
"I hear things going around like that, and I talk with Chris Hawkins, and we talk amongst each other," Fitts said. "I never really looked at it like that, but it's kind of developing that way."
Fitts had planned to take official visits to Oklahoma, Georgia and USC this fall and said that is still the plan.
"I talked to coach [James] Cregg, and he was totally fine with it," Fitts said. "It's a life experience that I always wanted to go visit the southern schools, and he agreed that I should do it, as long as I visit them (USC) last."
4hCFB Vegas Experts
2dMark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy
2dKevin Gemmell and Erik McKinney