7-footer Dedmon signs with USC

USC announced the signing of 7-foot junior college prospect DeWayne Dedmon on Wednesday, the first day of the regular signing period. Dedmon, a freshman at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, will enroll at the school in January but redshirt during the 2010-2011 season, then suit up for the team beginning in October 2011.

USC coach Kevin O'Neill was known to be heavily recruiting the center, who didn't begin playing basketball until his senior year at Lancaster High School but had inspired a mass recruiting following over the last year because of his obvious potential to be a difference-maker in the low post.

"We are really excited that DeWayne decided to be a Trojan," O'Neill said in a statement. "I think he has great potential, is an excellent student and is an even better person. He will be a huge part of our successes in the future. I can't wait to coach him in January when he will enroll at USC which will allow him to learn our system and contribute to the program right away when he is eligible."

At 7 feet, 225 pounds, Dedmon averaged 6.6 points and 7.8 rebounds last season at Antelope Valley as the Marauders had a 17-14 record. Raised a Jehovah's Witness, it was against Dedmon's beliefs to play competitive sports while growing up. But, when things changed in 2007, he picked up the game and displayed extraordinary athletic ability.

New USC assistant Dieter Horton was Dedmon's coach at Antelope Valley.