Seantrel Henderson, the top-rated prospect in the recruiting class of 2010 according to Scout.com, finally ended the suspense last week by announcing he would attend USC in the fall.
Or did he?
Henderson, a 6-8, 325 offensive tackle from St. Paul, MN. viewed as the type of talent who could start at left tackle and have an immediate impact on whatever college program he chooses, declared his intention of becoming a Trojan on Feb. 3. But, according to multiple media reports, he still hasn't put it in writing, and may not be quite as "committed" as USC would like.
In fact, there are indications that he and his father, Sean Henderson, are prepared to explore other options, pending further news regarding whether USC will face any NCAA santions in the wake of an investigation into allegations that former Trojans running back Reggie Bush accepted cash, the use of a car and free housing from a businessman who hoped to benefit from his relationship with Bush once he reached the NFL.
USC officials are scheduled to appear before an NCAA infractions committee on Feb. 19. Henderson reportedly has held off on signing a national letter of intent, and it appears he's prepared to wait until he knows more about any NCAA penalites USC may face. That's given schools like Ohio State, Miami, Notre Dame, Florida and Minnesota a glimmer of hope that they might still be able to persuade Henderson to commit elsewhere.
In an interview Sunday with KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Henderson was asked whether NCAA sanctions leveled on USC could change his mind about going there.
"Yeah, I think it would," he said. "But at the same time, I would have to ... talk to the coaches and see exactly what's going to happen and then base my decision upon what's going to be going on. Because that's the school I would like to go to, but then at the same time, I just can't walk into anything that's going to ... make my future, you know, not as good as it could be."
USC officials may not know whether NCAA sanctions will be imposed for several weeks after the Feb. 19 appearance before the NCAA. Sean Henderson told KSTP-TV that he's advised he son to keep his options open "because if things aren't looking good come the 20th or 21st (of February) or whatever, then we might have to move in a different direction, but only for the sake of his future."