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February 26, 2008After weeks of waiting, Corona (Calif.) Centennial linebacker Vontaze Burfict is officially commitment No. 10 for USC.
Rated as California's top linebacker, Burfict was prepared to make his commitment three weeks ago. Today, with his aunt and uncle by his side, Burfict made his pledge in person.
"Yeah, it's official now," laughed Burfict. "I got my offer and committed to USC - it's all done."
With his commitment being a matter of when, rather than if, the nation's No. 19 ranked player overall in the class of 2009 had plenty of time to think over his decision.
"I was supposed to make it down to campus last Wednesday, but my uncle had to work late," he explained. "I've been thinking about committing for a while - wondering how it would be to talk to (Pete) Carroll.
"I was kind of nervous, but they wanted me to come down a commit the right way."
Burfict, who had an astounding had 162 tackles as a junior, was sold on USC from early on in the recruiting process.
"I have a good relationship with coach (David) Watson, who recruited me," said Burfict of his Trojan recruiter. "He's been real with me, and I feel like we can talk about stuff besides football. Today he was just really excited to get me on campus.
"USC also has some great linebackers, and my position coach, Ken Norton, is cool. He loves my combination of size and speed. They want me to come in and be a starter for four-years because they lose a bunch of linebackers. They need guys to step in right away, and that's what I want to do."
In 2009, the Trojans will lose projected starting linebackers Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga and Kaluka Maiava to graduation. While playing early has Burfict's attention, graduation was his family's focus.
While Burfict will take a complete academic with his mother next month, Vontaze reiterated his interest in playing college football close to home.
"I did use to live in L.A., so it's nice to be at a school where I can still see my mom and my family," said Burfict. "I've always followed USC, so this is like a dream come true."
Burfict now becomes the eighth junior prospect in the Rivals100 to commit to USC for the class of 2009.
USCFootball.com will continue to bring you the latest on Vontaze Burfict throughout the spring.