USC has released top recruit Seantrel Henderson from his letter of intent, Coach
Lane Kiffin said Tuesday.
"As of 1:30 p.m. today, we are releasing Seantrel Henderson out of his
national letter of intent with zero penalties and no restrictions,” Kiffin said in a
statement. “Seantrel has been great through the whole process and we wish him
the best of luck with his decision."
Without the release, Henderson would have been forced to sit out one season to
transfer to another program.
Seantrel Henderson was the No.1 offensive tackle in the 2010 class.
Rated as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com, the
Saint Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall product was expected to see playing
time immediately for a thin USC offensive line group.
Standing at 6-foot-8 and
weighing more than 330 pounds, Henderson is regarded as one of the most
physically ready players to come out of the high school ranks in recent memory,
as demonstrated last December when he towered over current USC players in
the Coliseum locker room during his official visit to Los Angeles.
Henderson verbally committed on signing day, selecting USC over Ohio State
and Miami (Fla.), but did not sign his binding letter of intent until March 23
because of concerns regarding the NCAA investigation into former USC running
back Reggie Bush.
USC was hit last month with a two-year bowl ban and loss of 30 scholarships
over three years in that case, though it will appeal to have those sanctions cut
in half. Henderson and his family were reportedly told by Kiffin and his staff that
such penalties were unlikely.
The mammoth Henderson was expected to contribute from day one at a position
of great need. In spring practice, USC was often forced to work with just six
available linemen because of injury and limited numbers.
Without Henderson, USC will add just one offensive lineman in this class,
Ventura (Calif.) Saint Bonaventure center Giovanni Di Poalo, a candidate to
Counting capable walk-on Abe Markowitz, USC will have just 12
offensive linemen available for its season opener at Hawaii on Sept. 2.
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