Jordan Payton has decided to back out of his commitment to USC.
The four-star wide receiver from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian confirmed Friday a rumor that he de-committed from the Trojans saying he needed to consider all his options and since USC has severely limited scholarships this recruiting cycle he wanted to be fair to its coaching staff.
"Just needed to explore all my options and with their 15 scholarships I felt I was being unfair," Payton said in a text message.
It's a hit to USC's recruiting class since Payton, who originally committed to the Trojans in March 2010 and is rated No. 13 at wide receiver and No. 96 in the 2012 class by Rivals.com, but it's not completely unexpected.
In recent weeks, rumors have surfaced that all three USC wide receiver commits - Payton, Darreus Rogers and Jaydon Mickens - were definitely going to consider other options throughout their recruitment. They're all expected to take other visits.
When Payton was asked a few weeks ago at a 7-on-7 tournament in Redondo Beach, Calif., whether he'd take other visits this fall he sidestepped the question leaving open the option that other programs were still in play.
USCFootball.com reported Friday morning that sources said Payton had de-committed from the Trojans and that Arizona State and Cal were two top contenders. The 6-foot-2, 199-pound prospect also has offers from numerous powerhouse programs across the country.
At that Redondo Beach tournament, Payton was upfront saying that USC's scholarship reductions were a concern but didn't say it had a negative influence on his recruitment.
"I'd be lying to you if I said it wasn't a big deal because it is," Payton said in early June. "That's your future. You get 15 scholarships. I'm still a Trojan. I love the Trojans. You definitely have to think about it. Fifteen scholarships, that could hurt you down the line."
Payton has obviously thought about it - and decided that opening up his recruitment is the best thing for him right now.