It has been long thought that USC was the leading school for four-star safety prospect, Tony Jefferson (6-0, 196, 4.5) from Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake, but leaders in April often don't get the prize in February and appears to be the case with Jefferson and USC.
"It was a very subtle decision, but I did drop USC from my colleges list," Jefferson said. "A lot of people want to have the misconception that I'm doing that because I'm afraid of their depth chart, it's not that. It is a matter being able to get that opportunity.
"They (USC) are going to be about 12 deep in safeties," Jefferson said. "I did my research."
There are five winners in the Jefferson sweepstakes that landed official visits and one other college that is still in the mix for his services.
The five lucky schools that will get visits are Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida, Penn State and Notre Dame. He will be visiting Florida on September 19th, Michigan October 24th and Oklahoma November 14th. He doesn't have dates yet for Penn State and Notre Dame.
How did Jefferson come up with his final five?
"I sat down with my parents," Jefferson said. "We just went over what schools I could see myself going to and where I could enjoy my visits. All those officials that I'm taking are schools that I'm applying and can see attending."
There is still one school on the west coast that still has a shot since Jefferson eliminated all west coast schools except for UCLA. Why is UCLA still in the hunt?
"UCLA academics, most importantly" Jefferson said. "I feel Coach Rick Neuheisel has something good going on. He's looking to turn around the program and I think he can do it."
Though it is not set in stone, it is possible that Jefferson will take an unofficial visit to UCLA and take in a game or two this fall.
Jefferson is being recruited as a safety though he plays linebacker on the high school level.
A two-way standout on the high school level, from his running back position, Jefferson rushed for 1,328 yards and scored 28 touchdowns.
From his linebacker position, Jefferson racked up 88 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Jefferson's junior seasons performance saw him earn first-team all-state, first-team all-CIF, first-team all-league and was his League's Offensive Player of the Year.
Jefferson was selected to the preseason Rivals.com Rivals100 team for the class of 2010 landing as the nation's No. 45 prospect at any position.