Any rumors that USC has fallen off for Michael Hutchings are completely overblown the four-star linebacker said and he even has an important unofficial visit with the Trojans coming up.
Hutchings, rated as the fourth-best outside linebacker and No. 17 overall in the early 2013 rankings by Rivals.com, will visit USC next Saturday before working out at the Los Angeles NIKE Camp.
The Concord (Calif.) De La Salle prospect said he has developed a good relationship with new linebackers coach Scottie Hazelton and hopes to keep building on it next weekend during his trip.
"They're still up there," Hutchings said. "I've been in contact with coach Hazelton, the new coach, and he reminds me a lot of coach (Joe) Barry.
"I've just been talking football with him and next Saturday I'd like to talk some Xs and Os with him, watch some film and then just talk to the other coaches. I probably talk to all the other coaches once a week. I talk to a lot of them on Wednesday morning and I talk a lot with coach Hazelton, too."
Hutchings has already taken one visit to USC and will be back. The Trojans have been considered one of his favorites for a while. Cal, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee and pretty much the entire Pac-12 has offered among other top programs.
The four-star is looking to just get a better feel for all the Trojans have to offer along with his father this weekend.
"I've been there once before and I went down with my mom last time," Hutchings said.
"This time I'm just going down with my dad. I know he wants to get a feel for the coaches, too. We all went to Cal together so I know he wants to get down to USC and see what he thinks of the campus. The decision is up to me but he wants to get an opinion of it, too."