DeVante Wilson celebrated his 18th birthday on Monday and gave the USC coaching staff a present - his commitment. It was a reward for himself, too, since playing for the Trojans has always been his dream.
The three-star defensive end from Corona, Calif., had narrowed his choices to USC, Arizona and Nebraska in recent weeks. Then the Huskers were eliminated and Arizona fell out of favor when defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo left the Wildcats for Colorado.
That left one team - USC - and since he's developed a strong relationship with the new coaching staff, especially defensive assistant coaches Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron, his commitment came as no real surprise.
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In truth, once the Trojans offered it was clearly an uphill battle for the other schools although making the final decision was difficult.
"It's been a little tough," Wilson said. "It's been kind of stressful getting closer and closer to the decision. I was getting phone calls and everything.
"It kind of came down to Arizona and USC. I kind of decided USC when I heard coach (Tuiasosopo) from Arizona went to Colorado. When I took my visit this past weekend to USC I really felt it and I committed on the visit."
Rivals.com rates Wilson, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect, No. 17 at weak-side defensive end nationally and No. 39 in the California state rankings.
USC, Arizona and Nebraska were his three finalists but Colorado, Colorado State, Duke, New Mexico, San Jose State, Utah, Washington and Washington State had offered as well.
One of the keys to landing Wilson's commitment was that he formed a good bond with the new coaching staff at USC.
Since the Trojans recruited him during his junior season he was quite familiar with that staff but got warmed up even more by Kiffin and Orgeron and that was one of the things to seal it.
"I got comfortable with the whole staff," Wilson said. "I was around the whole staff last year and they were recruiting me so I've gotten to know this staff, too."