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December 14, 2006From the campus of Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic High School, Kristofer O'Dowd ended the recruiting process by announcing that he would become commitment No. 11 in USC's class of 2007.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound all-state selection selected USC over UCLA, Arizona and Tennessee. After several speakers took the podium, O'Dowd said those magic words.
"I'd like to announce that I'll be attending the University of Southern California next fall," said O'Dowd.
Rated as a four-star guard by Rivals.com, O'Dowd's future position will be center. USC All-American center, Ryan Kalil, had a major impact on O'Dowd's decision to become a Trojan.
"Just being able to talk to Ryan (on my official visit to USC) helped me a lot" said O'Dowd. "All the players I met were good guys, but Ryan especially.
"He's a really genuine person, and he's also the guy I'm coming in to replace. I'll have the opportunity to compete right away for playing time at USC. The coaches want me to make an immediate impact next year."
However, O'Dowd's decision was based on more than just playing time. Taking four of his five allotted official visits, Arizona's top rated offensive lineman researched schools throughly. Of course, that didn't make Thursday's announcement any easier.
"It was a tough decision because all the schools in my final four were similar," said O'Dowd. "The coaches I met from each school were great, but I just felt the most comfortable at USC. They talk about the Trojan family, but that's how it really is.
"I was fortunate enough to visit USC three different times during the year, and I felt pretty good about the coaching staff early on.
"But I wanted to make sure I did my homework on all the schools recruiting me. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I wanted to make sure I didn't rush into a decision."
O'Dowd becomes the third offensive lineman to commit to USC this year. Having attended the Trojans Rising Senior Camp in June, O'Dowd has already formed a tight bond with USC's two other offensive linemen, Martin Coleman of Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison and James Wilson of St. Augustine (Fla.) Nease.
"I stay in touch with those guys, and I can say I'm pretty good friends with both of them," said O'Dowd. "They're great players and I'm looking forward to playing with them next year."
This year, O'Dowd has earned first-team All-Arizona, Top-Flight Magazine Player of the Year and was awarded the Frank Kush award for being the No. 1 offensive lineman in Arizona for 2007. O'Dowd has also been named a starter in the Army All-American Bowl.
Rivals.com considers O'Dowd as the nation's No. 54 prospect at any position, and the country's No. 5 offensive guard.
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more from Kristofer O'Dowd's press conference, including exclusive photos, interviews and video!