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August 4, 2007Norcross (Ga.) four-star wide receiver Brice Butler didn't set out to fool anyone, but with news cameras and reporters crowded before him at Saturday's press conference, assumptions preceded his announcement.
With expectations built in the heart of the Southeast, Butler dropped a bomb on college football fans throughout the region.
"I've decided to attend the University of Southern California," said Butler as he pulled out a USC hat from underneath a Florida State hat.
Many college football fans following Butler's recruitment assumed he would follow in the footsteps of his father. Bobby Butler was a first-round pick out of Florida State in the 1981 NFL Draft. With family ties leading Brice to unofficially visit Tallahassee twice this offseason, the lock was set and the key was lost.
In the immortal words of ESPN College GameDay Analyst and former Seminole head football coach Lee Corso, "not so fast my friend". After taking a three-day unofficial visit to USC in April, Butler played host to Todd McNair and Pete Carroll in Norcross.
"I first committed to USC in May during spring football," said Butler. "T-Mac and coach Carroll both came out to see me play. That's when I let coach Carroll know that I was coming to USC.
"He couldn't say much then, but we spoke on the phone later that day. They were just really excited about having me on board. All we talked about was setting it off for the 2008, 2009 season and winning another national championship."
After today's announcement, Butler officially became commitment No. 13 for USC, maintaining the Trojans' four-star average in the 2008 recruiting rankings. With winning a key factor in his decision, Butler didn't struggle with Saturday's decision the way many college football fans thought he would.
"It wasn't really that hard of a decision," he explained. "When I went out to USC, I just felt like I fit in. It was one of those things that just clicked. The team, the coaches...everything.
"I took a lot of visits to a lot of other colleges, and I'd come away thinking, 'this is a nice place, but I don't think this is where I want to be'. USC is where I want to be."
Ranked the No. 6 best prospect in Georgia by Rivals.com, Butler caught 35 passes for 680 yards and nine touchdowns in 2006.
After receiving more than 30 scholarship offers, he selected USC over Florida State, Notre Dame, LSU, Arizona State, Florida, Penn State, Oregon, Oregon State and Georgia.
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more from Brice Butler's commitment, including video from today's ceremony and an exclusive in-depth interview about his decision.