The rumors have been swirling, but five-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) has brushed them aside just as he did so many opposing offensive lineman throughout his high school career.
Ever since decommitting from USC before the start of U.S. Army All-American Bowl week, Vanderdoes has supposedly re-committed, had a new leader and then re-committed again.
None of it is true, Vanderdoes said. He is still scheduled to decide between USC, UCLA, Washington, Notre Dame and Alabama on Feb. 6 in a ceremony at his school. No school holds a lead over another.
“It’s real annoying when there’s people starting rumors,” Vanderdoes said. “It gets kind of annoying because it’s completely false.”
Vanderdoes returned home Sunday night following his 48-hour official visit to USC, still an undeclared prospect. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound tackle said he felt no pressure to commit again and was not pressed by either the coaching staff or fellow recruits. He enjoyed Los Angeles and its 80-degree weather in peace.
“The visit went great,” Vanderdoes said. “We got a lot accomplished there as a family. We talked about the academic part and got to hang out with the players a lot, so that was intriguing.”
USC named former Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast to the same position on Friday just moments before the arrival of the recruits on campus. Vanderdoes, the nation’s top-rated defensive tackle, knew Pendergast from his days at Cal, so no introduction was necessary.
“Coach Pendergast is a great defensive coordinator,” Vanderdoes said. “He defends the spread real well, so that’s definitely a plus when playing teams like Oregon. I love how he has me fitting into the scheme -- he sees me as a three technique and a five technique. Our conversations were great. I had a great relationship with him at Cal already, so it was just talking.”
Vanderdoes, who originally committed to the Trojans in July, was hosted by freshman linebacker Scott Starr.
“It was cool,” Vanderdoes said. “I got to hang with him and he showed me the ins and outs of what goes on. It was real fun hanging out with him and the guys.”
Pending visits to Notre Dame (Jan. 25) and Alabama (Feb. 2) are still on the agenda before Vanderdoes makes his final call on national signing day.
“I’ll be looking out for everything on the upcoming visits,” Vanderdoes said. “Checking out the campus, seeing how I’l fit in with the players, whether or not there’s a family feeling, how I fit in with the coaches and the scheme. And then, obviously, the academics are huge.”