The predominant thinking throughout George Farmer's recruitment was that Southern Cal was the team to beat and others had little chance of landing the five-star wide receiver.
That still might be the case but Farmer, from Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra, said at the NIKE 7on Tournament last week in Beaverton, Ore., that he is sticking with his top five and probably won't make a decision until after the season or at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
USC, Oregon, Alabama, Florida and Miami are the favorites for Farmer, the top-rated wide receiver and No. 4 prospect in the 2011 class by Rivals.com. The Trojans have long been considered his top school but Farmer said he's going to give all five a fair shot.
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"I still have my top five and nobody is higher than any other and nobody is lower than any other," Farmer said. "I haven't come to a decision but those are my top five."
The sanctions levied against Southern Cal won't play a major role in Farmer's decision, a sentiment echoed by many of the top 2011 prospects. Among their 11 commitments, the Trojans have one five-star and seven four-star recruits. Few if any players seem overly concerned about the sanctions.
"I'm a player who likes to compete," said Farmer, who plans to take official visits. "The sanctions are going to lower the scholarships but they're going to still have top players there and that doesn't bring my confidence level down.
"If I go there I'm going to compete and compete for a spot. Anywhere you go you have to compete so it matters how much you want it. If you get a degree from SC you're basically set with the connections you have but the sanctions I'm not really looking at that."
Maybe more than anything will be location and style of offense although Farmer is talented enough to make it work in pro-style or spread sets. From what Farmer says, he can see himself being successful at all five of his favorites.
"I have to take my dad and my mom into consideration, they're going to miss me if I go far," Farmer said. "I have to think about the best school close to home and right now it's USC because they're the predominant school. They're good in all the areas and even though they have the sanctions on them they're still a good school.
"Another good school I can see myself at is Florida. They have a great quarterback and I could see myself at Alabama. They have Julio Jones, I can see myself doing exactly what he's doing and Miami is another speed team. I could see myself there and Oregon I could do the same."