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September 2, 2009
Trojans get Nation's No. 2 player
Pete Carroll & Co. were the hammer, his visit to campus was the nail in the recruiting process' coffin.
Kyle Prater made his verbal commitment to the University of Southern California public knowledge Wednesday afternoon.
With a drum roll from the Proviso West band, Prater pulled out a cardinal USC hat from his bag.
"I'm going to USC," Prater said in front of friends, family and media.
Before Prater and his family donned Trojan shirts at the announcement, Prater discussed with USCFootball.com why he chose USC over 43 other scholarship offers.
"The coaching staff (was the reason) more than anything, and, after taking all my other visits, the trip to USC was the nail in the coffin," Prater, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, said. "I felt that because of my relationship with the coaches and the players, it's a place that I had to be.
"When I sat down with Coach Carroll, Coach Morton and Coach Norton the day I was leaving, we were just talking about the visit and the practice, it was just right."
The Rivals.com No. 2 rated overall players is the second Five-Star wide receiver to give the Trojans his verbal commitment in the last month. The duo will make up one of the most lethal offensive receiving threats in the country one day.
"I don't have any expectations for me freshman year other than going out and working as hard as I can," he said. "I'm not guaranteed anything, but, like everyone else, I'll have an opportunity to go out and prove myself. With hard work I'm hoping to get out on the field, that's my ultimate goal.
"I'm the type of guy who always wants to keep pushing myself. So when I get to the next level I'm going to push until I get to the next. I want to be in the NFL one day and I want to be a first rounder. But I've got to start from the bottom, keep pushing myself, stay humble and be as good as I can be."
Prater's commitment represents somewhat of a coup in the sense that the Trojans managed to pull him from Chicago and the heart of Notre Dame country. But, as Prater explains, the distance from home is a opportunity for him to grow.
"My family has been behind me during this whole process, and my mom and dad are going to try to get out there and see me play whenever they can," he said. "Even if I went somewhere close to home I'd still be on my own, but this is a big jump for me.
"My dad always told me that if you want to be a man that's the best way to do it. They've always been there for me and they'll be sad to see me go, but they know how it is."
The verbal commitment from Prater is even bigger for USC because he's a December graduate and will enroll in school to compete in spring practices.
With early commitments the question always remains about official visits; for Prater, that's a question that's still up in the air.
"It came down to Oklahoma, Illinois and Tennessee. They all have something good to offer, but they weren't right for me at that moment," he said. "I've got to think about (official visits), but I'm not sure yet.
"I don't want to be one of those guys who commits and then takes a bunch of visits and I'm a man of my word, but I want to be 100-percent sure that it's the right choice."
With Prater and Robert Woods, USC has taken their already impressive Class of 2010 to another level.
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com as we follow-up with Kyle Prater and bring you all the latest developments in his recruiting process.