Well, that didn't take long.
Seantrel Henderson, the nation's second best recruit from the class of 2010 according to Rivals.com, won't be a Trojan after all. Henderson, who committed to USC in February before waiting a month to actually sign his letter of intent to play for the Trojans due to concerns over possible sanctions, was reportedly in South Florida over the weekend visiting with Miami and Randy Shannon. Paul Dee must be wetting his pants as of now.
Since the NCAA announced its findings regarding its investigation into a "lack of institutional control" at USC in early June, which resulted in a 2-year bowl ban and a loss of 30 scholarships over 3 years, Henderson has been vacillating between fulfilling his commitment to join Lane Kiffin's program or head elsewhere. The possibility of missing out on a bowl game for two years was just too much for the Minnesota native to handle.
As a result, to satisfy Henderson's desire to leave for what he perceives to be greener pastures, USC has released him from his letter of intent according ESPN's Joe Schad, who was informed of this earlier today by Kiffin.
"As of 1:30 p.m, we are releasing Seantrel Henderson out of his national letter of intent with zero penalties and no restrictions," Kiffin said in a statement. "Seantrel has been great through the whole process and we wish him the best of luck in his decision."
Coachspeak aside, this remains a small victory for USC. Even more so in the wake of the NCAA sanctions, USC remains a "big boy" program reserved for athletes with killer instincts and intense competitive spirits, who are driven and motivated to become the best players possible. The right players for this program are not, however, motivated by the possibility of playing in one or two bowl games, as Kiffin echoed the other day.
"I hope in the end Seantrel sees what every other freshman in this class has... that one or two games isn't why you choose a university," Kiffin said. "They didn't come to SC because of a bowl game the first or second year. They came here because of the education; they came here because of the football program."
If Seantrel has a problem in missing out on a bowl game and seeing the big picture in all of this, than USC probably isn't the best fit for him in the first place. The USC football program does one thing better than any other school in America - getting players to the NFL. Just look at the number of draft picks that hail from this university. It's staggering. That's why you come to 'SC. If this guy can't see that, it's easy to see why Kiffin and company don't want him in the locker room much longer. And you wonder why he was released?