Ex-Gator Steele heading to USC, not Oregon

Former Florida cornerback Chris Steele is transferring to USC, his father, Norm, told ESPN on Wednesday.

Steele, a 2019 signee with Florida, who was ranked No. 95 overall in the ESPN 300, announced his transfer in May after complaints about then-roommate Jalon Jones, who was accused of sexual battery by two women in April.

When Steele initially announced the transfer, he said he would be attending Oregon. Steele then visited USC on Monday, according to a source, and decided to change course, landing with the Trojans.

Steele is originally from the Los Angeles area and was committed to USC at one point during his recruitment. The change of heart might seem surprising to Oregon fans, but Steele told The Athletic that his flip to USC was to stay closer to his family after his mother was laid off from her job.

"It was going to be a financial hardship for her to be able to come watch me play," Steele told The Athletic. "My mom has never missed one of my games before. Going to Oregon seemed like a really good idea. I still think that if I were to go there, I would do very well."

Steele went on to say that the cost of plane tickets from California to Oregon would have made it impossible for his parents to attend his games and support him in person.

Norm Steele told ESPN that family considerations weren't the only reason his son chose USC.

"Of course he's probably glad he's close to home, but that's not the whole thing," Norm Steele said. "He's not making a decision about being by your parents all the time."

The former top-100 prospect told The Athletic that he didn't initially choose USC after deciding to transfer from Florida because there wasn't a spot on the roster for him.

"I was planning on going to Oregon anyway," Steele told The Athletic. "That was really -- for one, they didn't have a spot, and then the second thing is that my relationship with [Oregon cornerbacks] Coach Donte [Williams] is better than any relationship I have with any other coach. I just felt like he's the best person for my development and stuff."

Norm Steele told ESPN that USC reached out to his son once a scholarship became available.

"It's been kind of fast," Norm Steele said of the process that led to his son choosing USC. "One thing I will say about [USC] is they are very honest and transparent. They're never going to tell you just anything, they have always been honest."

Steele isn't the only 2019 prospect the Trojans could be bringing in. Athlete Bru McCoy, who initially signed with and enrolled at USC after the early signing period in December, left the program in January and enrolled at Texas. McCoy then entered the transfer portal after joining Texas and is expected to reenroll at USC. That move hasn't been made official but is expected to happen in the near future.