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January 2, 2012
Thompson drops USC over Twitter backlash
MORE THOMPSON: Sunday video | Shaq-tastic name
SAN ANTONIO - Shaq Thompson said Monday after practice for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that USC is no longer on his list. Apparently, after he posted on Twitter on Sunday night that he was seriously considering the Trojans, some followers questioned him.
He was not amused, and now the Trojans are out.
That's not the end of the Thompson saga, either. He also told Rivals.com on Monday that Notre Dame was back in the picture, joining California and Washington in his final three. He plans to make his announcement during Saturday's Army Bowl.
Thompson, a five-star safety from Sacramento (Calif.) Grant, said he was honestly interested in USC, even though he had not taken an official visit. He had said Sunday that USC was on his list because it will always be a national power.
Thompson told Rivals.com at Army game registration that USC, Cal and Washington were his three finalists and then on Twitter later that night he posted, "For all yal twitter fans who think I'm playing about SC, i'm not.."
But he received resistance about his sincerity.
"That's how it's going to be. I'm the type of person I'm going to keep it real," Thompson said. "I was feeling SC but I'm not liking SC any more. People aren't going to take me seriously so why go there? I'm just being real. I was serious. It's whatever."
That's what prompted his decision to eliminate the Trojans and add Notre Dame, which he had been considering for months, along with Oregon and others, but did not mention during Sunday's interview.
Two reasons why Notre Dame is now back on Thompson's list: A good relationship with the coaching staff and he believes four-star cornerback Tee Shepard will honor his commitment to the Irish during his announcement at Tuesday's Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Shepard said last weekend that he would pick between USC and Notre Dame at the game - and do so in a special way. The Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union cornerback said he was going to write USC and Notre Dame on pieces of paper, pick one out of a hat and attend that school. He's expected to be an early enrollee.
Thompson was committed to Cal in March following his junior day visit but backed off a week later to consider other programs. Many believe Cal is again the team to beat but Thompson said playing out of state was always a strong consideration.