Prater backs off commitment to USC

Just as it appeared the story of Proviso West senior Kyle Prater's recruitment had finally ended with a commitment to USC, another chapter has been written. In the wake of reports that Trojans coach Pete Carroll has agreed to a contract with the Seattle Seahawks, Prater has backed off his commitment and will not enroll early at USC as he had planned to do next week, according to Scouts Inc.

Prater, a Scouts Inc. four-star wide receiver, began his recruiting journey with nearly every college program after him for his 6-foot-6, 210-pound frame and athleticism. He initially put an end to that when he announced on Sept. 2, 2009, during an elaborate ceremony at Proviso West that he had committed to USC over Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

The strength of the commitment was weakened within a few days as Prater began calling it a soft verbal and said he would continue to keep his options open. While still committed to USC, he again closely examined Illinois and Notre Dame. Ultimately, he would back his commitment to USC again. He even reaffirmed it earlier this week while preparing to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

But on Saturday, that tune changed once again as the Seahawks neared a deal with Carroll.

"I really don't know what to say," Prater told Scouts Inc. "I'm pretty shocked. I'm just trying to get with my family and my head right. I'm not going to be in Los Angeles on Monday. It just hurts. I really don't know what to say. I wasn't told of anything. I just need to sit down with my family."

Illinois and Notre Dame could be among the leaders for Prater's commitment.

Prater was an ESPNChicago.com all-area football player after catching 58 passes for 1,014 yards and 10 touchdowns while leading Proviso West to its first-ever playoff appearance.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at preps@espnchicago.com.