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USC recruit Grimble enacts ‘backup plan’

Xavier Grimble expected to have a smooth ride into national signing day Feb. 3.

But the past week has felt more like a roller coaster for the Bishop Gorman senior tight end, who originally gave an oral commitment to Southern California in April.

Grimble reacted to coach Pete Carroll’s departure from USC to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday by saying he still was committed to the Trojans, but far from locked in.

“I’m still committed (to USC), but I’m still open,” Grimble said. “With Pete Carroll leaving and the rumors about them going on probation, you’ve got to have a backup plan.”

Grimble said he hopes to visit UCLA this weekend. He’s also considering scholarship offers from Miami, Florida, Oklahoma and Louisiana State.

“I really like what Rick Neuheisel’s doing,” Grimble said of UCLA’s coach.

Rivals.com ranks the 6-foot-6-inch, 245-pound Grimble as the nation’s No. 1 tight end in the class of 2010, and No. 32 regardless of position. As a senior, he caught 39 passes for 709 yards and nine touchdowns as the Gaels rolled to a 15-0 season and their second Class 4A state title in three years.

Asked what it would take to reaffirm his commitment to USC, Grimble said he is waiting to see who the Tojans select as the new coach.

“USC is USC, a great school,” Grimble said. “I want to make sure the tight end is featured in the offense. That will help.”

Grimble said Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley, who will be a sophomore next season, has reached out in an attempt to keep him committed to USC.

Grimble’s father, Bill, called Carroll’s departure a “total shock.”

“A little disappointed, but life goes on,” Bill Grimble said. “(Xavier) was pretty down for a couple days, but now he kind of understands.

“Just like Pete Carroll was a great coach, someone else can be.”

Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203.

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