Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Juco DT Wyche drops USC for Miami
By Blair Angulo
The recruiting woes continued for USC on Tuesday when junior college defensive tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) decommitted from the Trojans and flipped to Miami, in large part to return to the East Coast next year.
After picking up two quick commitments following the firing of Lane Kiffin, the Trojans have lost Wyche and ESPN 300 outside linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito), who reopened his recruitment Monday following an official visit to Arizona State.
If USC had built any momentum with interim head coach Ed Orgeron at the helm, it surely disappeared this week.
“I decided to decommit from USC today and move forward,” Wyche said. “I wanted to be closer to home. That was the main thing. I’ve been away from home for a while and I’m ready to go back to that side of the country so my family can see me play at the next level. My family has never seen me play, so I’m excited for that possibility.”
Wyche is scheduled to visit Miami for the first time in November. He broke the news to assistant coach Tee Martin on Tuesday.
“I spoke with Coach Tee briefly, since Coach O was kind of busy,” Wyche said. “I told him what was going on. He tried to change my mind for a bit, but he wished me the best of luck and told me he hopes greatness follows me wherever I go. He was really cool about it. He understands that family comes first.”
The decision to decommit was a difficult one for Wyche, who had grown attached to Los Angeles.
“I have mad love for USC and respect that program immensely,” Wyche said. “The fans showed nothing but love after I shared my story with them. They wanted me to go play football there and that's a great honor. It’s a big family there, but in the end, I felt like I made the best decision for my future. Trojan nation has been unbelievable to me and I’ll never forget that.”
Miami dropped in before the season to check on Wyche and other potential recruits, East Los Angeles coach Steve Mojarro said. Wyche originally planned to graduate in December, but is now set to finish his coursework in May. Wyche said his enrollment status did not play a role in his situation with USC.
“He is on track to leave in the spring,” Mojarro added. “Right now, he’s taking an extra class and we’re trying to get him enrolled in another. Mike was at the USC-Arizona game and Coach O has done a great job of communicating with him since Kiffin was let go. USC has done everything they could. They have done a great job recruiting him, but I know he was a bit surprised by the whole Kiffin situation. Mike really likes Orgeron and respects him a lot, but there were a couple of situations in his life back home in Virginia that could been a factor. One of his academic advisors committed suicide, a cousin was murdered; just tragedy after tragedy. It’s a rough situation back home with a lot of people depending on him, so it’s been tough for him to be so far.”
Wyche, who joined USC's recruiting class in early May just moments after Kiffin extended a scholarship offer, became the second defensive tackle to decommit from the Trojans in this cycle, joining ESPN 300 prospect Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central).
Following the decommitment, USC has only seven prospects in its 2014 group.