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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
ESPN 150 DE Kylie Fitts makes his move

By Blair Angulo

In the end, the heartbreak was too much to overcome.

Relationships might have been patched up, but the wounds never healed completely.

USC lost ESPN 150 defensive end Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley) for good on Tuesday night when the four-star prospect committed to UCLA during a ceremony at his high school. One of the most intriguing situations of this recruiting cycle came to a close, perhaps dealing a damaging blow to USC’s reputation.

Fitts, a U.S. Army All-American and the No. 85 player in the ESPN 150, decommitted from the Trojans in early January only two days before he was set to enroll and arrive on campus. He had already graduated from high school and was shopping for dorm-room essentials with his mother when he received a call from USC informing him there was no room for him until the summer.

Fitts was distraught upon learning he couldn’t enroll early. He cleared his mind and immediately took an official visit to UCLA, where enrolling early was a possibility. He also went to Notre Dame and Utah to gain further perspective and assess other options. The state’s top-rated defensive end also attended the USC-UCLA basketball game at Pauley Pavilion wearing a Bruin blue shirt.

USC, though, battled back but failed to claim an important victory in the local recruiting landscape.

A final unofficial visit to USC on Sunday afternoon added further interest, but it wasn’t enough for reconciliation. Fitts spoke at length with coaches Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron, returning home from campus with a fresh outlook.

Fitts’ decision was yet another blow in a season filled with them. Defensive end has been a position of struggle, with uncertainty and non-stop speculation centering around Jason Hatcher (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) and Torrodney Prevot (Houston, Texas/Alief Taylor). As of Tuesday afternoon, Hatcher was expected to sign with in-state Kentucky, while Prevot reportedly favored Texas A&M, according to sources.