Yesterday was a hectic day for everyone involved with National Signing Day, especially for coaches, analysts and some players and parents. One such player is Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military wide receiver Vidal Hazelton. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver and his father had a long day. So what's the latest?
"Vidal is coming home (to New York) this weekend and we're going to sit down and talk about it," said Dexter Hazelton, Vidal's father. "I did not sign any Letter of Intent for USC yesterday. This is a situation between myself and Vidal."
Rumors surfaced that Dexter would only sign a LOI for Penn State and that he wouldn't allow Vidal to attend USC. Players need to be 21 years or older to sign without a parent or guardian.
"No, I'm not refusing to sign for USC if that's where Vidal wants to go," Dexter said. "We're going to talk things over this weekend and if that's where he wants to go, then I have no problem signing. And I think that's where he wants to go."
So why the delay?
"I felt that Vidal was being rushed into this decision and there was also a situation where Vidal was falling behind in a class and that's something that's not acceptable to me," his father said. "When I was talking to him about it, we got into an argument and he hung up on me. We didn't talk for two days until he called me back and said he needed me to sign his letter for USC. I asked him if he remembered how our last conversation ended and then hung up on him.
Academics are a high priority in my house and I've raised Vidal for 18 years and now he's hanging up on me? That's not acceptable. One of the concerns I have about USC is that he'll be far away from home and he likes that 'Hollywood' style out there and I need to make him aware how he needs to keep up with his academics out there."
Does Vidal's father favor Penn State as the choice over USC?
"Yes, that would be my choice because I feel more comfortable that the people at Penn State will take care of him better and that's what any father would want for their son. But I also think USC is the right fit for Vidal because he's more comfortable with the quarterback situation out there. He's spent the last three years with a below average quarterback and I know how frustrated it can be. Football is fun for Vidal when he has a chance to show what he can do and he feels better with the USC situation."
Dexter also didn't like the way USC reacted to his effort to get his point across to Vidal.
"I asked Pete Carroll to help me out with this situation and he didn't seem to want to hear it. He came off to me as someone who didn't feel it was a big deal. I care about making sure my son has thought out his decision and understands what is expected of him if he goes to USC."
So does Penn State have a chance here?
"I'm going to talk to Vidal about everything this weekend, let him know where I'm coming from and then he will make his choice. If he picks USC like I assume he will, I'll sign the letter. I just want to make sure I've done as much as I can as a parent before he makes this big decision."
And why make this public?
"I've heard a lot of things out there that I'm controlling my son and refuse to sign his letter unless it's for Penn State. I've heard it compared to the Kellen Winslow Jr. situation. I want to make sure everyone understands what's really happening."
Hazleton has been taken off the USC list of signees.