The decommitment of ESPN 150 receiver Sebastian LaRue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) from USC had been brewing the past few weeks, so his announcement Wednesday was a mere formality.
It had become apparent that LaRue would not sign with the Trojans in February, with the four-star receiver reluctant to even discuss his recruitment recently. And even though LaRue had been a frequent visitor for USC games at the Coliseum this season, the versatile athlete had been tight-lipped since returning from an official visit to Washington State.
While the rest of USC's verbal commitments had either visited or scheduled their official trips to Los Angeles, LaRue had not. He set up a visit to Texas A&M for the Jan. 18 weekend, which is the Trojans' big recruiting date. LaRue also scheduled a trip to Notre Dame for Jan. 25 and said he did not know if he'd even make it to USC before signing day.
The biggest sign came last month at the Cal State Game. According to a source who had a number of conversations with LaRue there, the No. 150 player in the ESPNU 150 had grown frustrated with his recruitment.
When reached on Monday following USC's loss to Georgia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, LaRue had no comment. When asked if receiver Robert Woods' decision to forgo his senior season by entering the NFL draft at all strengthened his commitment to USC, LaRue again had no comment.
LaRue became USC's fourth decommitment of the recruiting season, joining athlete Max Redfield, receiver Eldridge Massington and defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. But the most recent decommitment is not necessarily a gut-wrenching loss for the class, namely because receiver is hardly a position of need.
The Trojans now have only one receiver commit in the recruiting class: four-star Steven Mitchell (Mission Hills, Calif./Bishop Alemany). Massington decommitted in early December after learning he would not be able to enroll early at USC. He has since committed to UCLA.
The loss of LaRue wasn't at all surprising and, above everything, can turn into a positive for USC by opening a spot for another defensive player or offensive lineman.