Auburn (Calif.) Placer defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes has constructed a recruiting safety net of sorts. The four-star USC commit is using official visits to UCLA, Washington and California as way to scope out possible fallback options. His commitment to the Trojans? Solid. But having a little protection won't hurt.
"It's one of those things where if something happens, it's good to have backup options," Vanderdoes said on Thursday. "As I get close to signing day and, for example, if (USC defensive coordinator) Ed Orgeron leaves for the NFL or something like that, I want to make sure I know my options. Things like that have happened in the past."
The first scheduled visit on Vanderdoes' itinerary will be to UCLA on Nov. 24, when the Bruins are set to host Stanford. Trips to Washington and Cal will also take place, but dates remain unclear for those.
"The other ones will happen after the season," Vanderdoes said. "I only know I'm going to the UCLA-Stanford game right now."
As far as his impressions of USC go, little has changed. The team's somewhat disappointing 6-3 record has not deterred Vanderdoes in the slightest. According to him, his commitment had little to do with current success or the chance to immediately play for a champion. Instead, it was the product of a relationship with the Trojan's staff.
Back-to-back losses? The four-star prospect has barely noticed. If he has, he certainly doesn't care.
"It doesn't matter to me at all," Vanderdoes said. "It's not an issue. I didn't commit to USC because of how good they are. If everybody committed to a school because of how good they are, everybody would obviously go to Alabama."
He did, after all, ignore a scholarship offer from the Crimson Tide. Vanderdoes carries roughly 41 invitations in total. And even if there seems to be no point in getting involved in his recruitment at this late juncture, new teams are still popping up.
"The most recent offer is from BYU," Vanderdoes said. "That one came in on Friday."
Rivals.com ranks Vanderdoes as the No. 4 defensive tackle in America and the No. 33 prospect overall. In 10 games this season, he has tallied 54 tackles, eight sacks, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt.