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Sunday, September 8, 2013
USC loses ESPN 300 DT Smallwood

By Blair Angulo

The USC Trojans were upset by Washington State on Saturday night, and to make matters worse, they lost an ESPN 300 recruit, as four-star defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central) said he has decommitted.

In reality, the decision had been brewing all summer. The first signal arrived when Smallwood named a list of five finalists despite being committed to USC since the school’s junior day event in late February.

Smallwood told WeAreSC he made the decision to re-open his recruitment Thursday evening.

The Trojans, though, had cooled on the 6-foot, 290-pound prospect, according to a source. They had not been in steady contact with Smallwood since earlier this summer despite recruiting his teammate, highly coveted athlete Michiah Quick.

Smallwood said he would no longer consider USC. He has offers from the likes of Alabama, Cal, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma and UCLA.

“I’m done with them,” Smallwood said of the Trojans.

Smallwood originally committed on Feb. 24, just minutes after landing a verbal scholarship offer from defensive line coach Ed Orgeron on campus. He pegged USC as his "dream school" at the time.

USC had a difficult time hanging on to defensive linemen in the 2013 recruiting class, losing four highly rated prospects -- three of those to rivals UCLA, Notre Dame and Oregon. Without Smallwood, the current class includes ESPN 300 defensive end Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), three-star defensive end Austin Maloata and juco defensive tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College).

The Trojans have seven verbal commitments in the 2014 class.