- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) received a scholarship offer from the USC Trojans on Friday. Vanderdoes is the No. 56 player in the ESPN 150, as well as the top defensive lineman -- and No. 4 player overall -- in California.
Vanderdoes had already collected more than 30 offers from schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State and Washington, which had some USC fans questioning whether Vanderdoes would receive an offer from Lane Kiffin and staff.
Two weeks ago, USC quarterbacks coach Clay Helton was on hand to witness Vanderdoes go through a workout and pitch a six-inning gem on the baseball diamond. Vanderdoes said then that Helton was pushing for Vanderdoes to receive an offer. Friday, Vanderdoes received the news.
"Great day!" Vanderdoes tweeted, adding hashtags of #USC and #FightOn.
Vanderdoes received a Facebook message from Helton that asked the 6-foot-3, 285-pound lineman to give him a call and relayed that there was good news. When Vanderdoes made the call, he spoke with Helton briefly but was passed on to the head coach.
"He gave the phone to coach Kiffin, and he said he was really impressed with my film," Vanderdoes said. "This was the first time they got around to watching my highlight tape. I guess they had my sophomore film, and that's why they were waiting. He said after watching this that it wasn't even a question, and they wanted to extend a full scholarship offer."
Vanderdoes said he was excited by the news.
"It was great," he said. "That's a great offer to have, especially from coach Kiffin. He's a great coach. I was really excited."
There might be some concern among USC fans that the Trojans waited too long to offer Vanderdoes and ran the risk of losing his interest, but that doesn't seem as if it will be a hill the USC coaches will need to climb.
"It's definitely not a late offer," Vanderdoes said. "I don't have any leaders or a top 10. So for me, it can't be late. That's not going to affect anything."
Though conversations between Vanderdoes and USC had stalled over the past few months, he said he was told to be ready for things to pick up in a big way now that an offer was on the table.
"They said they are going to come after me hard," Vanderdoes said of USC. "Things are going to heat up with USC a lot more over the rest of the recruiting process."