The USC Trojans picked up the commitment of Bakersfield (CA) Stockdale kicker Andre Heidari on Saturday, filling a major need for the 2011 recruiting class.
“I committed to USC,” Heidari said. “My mom called Coach Kiffin and they talked for awhile. Then my mom told me to call Coach Baxter and that was when it all went down.
“Coach Baxter and Coach Kiffin are good guys so that’s a big reason.”
The Stockdale standout participated in the Rising Stars Camp earlier this week and impressed the coaching staff enough to come away with a scholarship offer.
At the camp, Heidari got to work with USC assistant coach John Baxter, who is widely regarded as one of the top special teams coaches in football.
“He is the best special teams coach in the nation,” Heidari said. “He told me stories about guys that are in the NFL, and he helped them get there. That was a big part of it.”
As Heidari explained, the opportunity to learn from Baxter was one of the main reasons that he jumped on the USC offer.
“He showed me with golf clubs how your foot should be and everything,” Heidari said. “He has a special way of teaching and I really like the way he teaches. He puts everything on the line for you.”
The strong combination of football and academics at USC was another big factor that swayed his decision.
“They are one of the top programs in the nation that has a good football program and good academics,” he said. “I want to get my degree and I want to help them to win a national championship.”
Like former USC kicker, David Buehler, Heidari is known for his strong leg. He had a 92 percent touchback rate on kickoffs as a junior in 2009.
“Being able to kick it into the end zone every time is really one of my strengths,” he said.
He also handles the punting duties for his high school team but is being recruited purely as a kicker.
Heidari was excited to be the ninth commitment in an already star-studded class for the Trojans.
“They had the best recruiting class in the country last year, and they said they are going to have the top class again this year, so that was big,” he said.
The talented kicker picked USC over offers from Nebraska and Fresno State. He plans to enroll in January.
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