It's not often a junior can draw attention away from the senior class on national signing day but that's what happened. Anaheim (Calif.) Servite linebacker Chris Galippo, our early choice as the top defensive player in the state next year, ended the recruiting process before it even started committing Tuesday night to USC.
Galippo, 6-3, 230 pounds is a two time Student Sports underclass All-American and earned all-state honors for the second year in a row as well. The 'backer finished the year with 161 tackles and three sacks on defense and also lined up as a slot receiver on offense catching 22 balls for 380 yards and five touchdowns.
"I've always dreamed about playing for USC," Galippo said. "Growing up in Southern CA, USC is the school I've always rooted for as long as I can remember. Coach Carroll called my coach at Servite and said he wanted to talk to me. So I called him last night and he offered me a scholarship and said he wanted me to be a part of the Trojan family.
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"I had already decided awhile back that whenever USC offered me, I was going to jump on it and that's what I did. There was a few other schools I liked and I went to Notre Dame's Junior Day a few weeks ago and they have a great program but USC was where my heart was at.
"I camped with USC last year and I've been to a lot of their practices and the energy and enthusiasm is just second to none. I mean, nothing compares to it and it's just so fun to see Coach Carroll getting all fired up and all the players playing with so much energy and passion. You can tell when they get out on the field on Saturdays how pumped up the team is and I definitely think they're the most physical team in all of Div I and that comes from how hard they practice."
Galippo said another plus in committing early was avoiding the recruiting madness that was already getting out of hand.
"I have so much mail and I knew once May came around and schools could start calling, it was going to be real crazy," Galippo said. "I know USC is where I want to be so there is no need for me to wait just to go through the process and be wined and dined by other schools. I'm a Trojan all the way and I'm just so excited right now I was actually shaking when I woke up this morning.
"My whole family is happy for me and my coaches were excited too. Now I can just focus on getting better and being a team leader for our season next year and helping the team win a CIF title."