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Monday, October 21, 2013
Pac-12 battle for D.J. Calhoun?

By Erik McKinney

When ESPN 300 linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) said on Sunday that Arizona State had firmly become one of his top three schools following an official visit to Tempe, Monday's news -- when Calhoun announced his decommitment from USC -- didn't come as much of a surprise.

This is a development that had been building for weeks, as Calhoun was one of the recruits shocked by USC's poor performance in a loss to Washington State earlier this season, then had his situation thrown into the air when USC made the decision to fire head coach Lane Kiffin. Calhoun wasn't sure how the coaching staff would eventually shake out, and he began exploring all of his options.

During this past weekend's official visit to Arizona State, the Sun Devils did everything right for Calhoun. Not only was he able to experience a huge home win, he talked extensively about loving the city, campus and coaching staff, as well as the academic path he could take at Arizona State. The Sun Devils appear to be in great shape with the nation's No. 226 prospect, but they aren't the only Pac-12 option Calhoun will explore.

UCLA will get an official visit from Calhoun on Nov. 1, when it hosts Colorado. The Bruins have been steadily pushing for Calhoun and have gotten some tremendous help from good friend and teammate Adarius Pickett, who committed to UCLA in early September and stated that he would immediately go to work on trying to flip Calhoun across town.

USC is still in the picture for Calhoun as well, as the standout linebacker will likely take an official visit to see the Trojans when the coaching situation is settled. However, USC might need to move quickly after the season, as Calhoun plans to be an early enrollee and will want to have a decision made well before he intends to enroll at his school of choice.

There is also a chance that Nebraska could receive an official visit from Calhoun, although the Cornhuskers appear to be facing a steep, uphill battle against the three Pac-12 programs.

The Sun Devils might have a second piece of ammunition, however, as Calhoun was joined on his official visit by teammate and former Cal commit Jalen Harvey. Shortly after Calhoun announced his decommitment from USC on Monday morning, Harvey stepped away from his longtime commitment to the Golden Bears. If the Bruins are getting help from one of Calhoun's teammates, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Sun Devils reel in Harvey and attempt to put some pressure on Calhoun with a teammate of their own.