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November 15, 2006

Mayo signs with Southern California

High school basketball standout O.J. Mayo has made his choice.

Mayo signed a national letter-of-intent to play his college basketball with the USC Trojans. Mayo made his commitment official on Wednesday the final day of the early signing period.

"This is a great day for the program," USC assistant coach Gib Arnold told Rivals.com. "We are really excited as a Trojan family about the direction we are going."

The commitment ends much speculation about the recruitment of the No. 5 overall prospect in the nation. Many believed Mayo would never play college basketball. There were indications that Mayo would sign a shoe contract and train for a year until he became eligible for the NBA Draft.

Talk of Mayo to USC has circulated since early July, but Mayo never officially committed to the Trojans until Wednesday. Earlier in the week, he was quoted as saying he would wait until the late signing period and visit schools in the meantime. USC and Kansas State were the two schools who were actively recruiting Mayo in the fall.

Mayo will join another elite prospect Davon Jefferson in Los Angeles. Jefferson - a native of L.A. - recently improved his academic standing to the point where he could sign along with the rest of the 2007 prospects. Jefferson might hit the court for USC during the second semester.

Louisiana prospects Leonard Washington and Marcus Simmons are the other two signees in USC's class.

Washington, the No. 117 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, is a physical and athletic small forward.

Simmons is also a physical small forward who is a defensive specialist. He is the No. 138 ranked prospect in the Rivals150.

The Mayo saga is the latest in what has been an eventful recruiting period for the USC basketball program. Going into the early signing period, the Trojans only had one committed prospect - Venoy Overton. As it turns out, Overton did not sign with USC.



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