Prater to leave USC, Armstead still pondering

Prater to leave USC, Armstead still pondering

Published Jan. 10, 2012 10:48 a.m. ET

USC's roster, which will be limited to 75 scholarship players in the fall, remained in flux Monday as receiver Kyle Prater announced he was transferring and defensive lineman Armond Armstead met with school officials to explore doing the same for his final season of eligibility.

Prater, a third-year sophomore from Illinois, is the second player in less than a week to leave the Trojans. Sophomore tailback Amir Carlisle obtained his release from USC and is transferring to Notre Dame.

"I will be transferring," Prater wrote on his Twitter account. "I love my teammates, SC, my fans, athletic staff, will always respect the coaches. God Bless."

The 6-foot-5 Prater enrolled at USC in the spring of 2010 but was a redshirt his first season because of injuries. Last season, he played in 10 games but caught only one pass. Under NCAA rules, he would have to sit out next season if he transfers to a Football Bowl Subdivision school.

Prater could not be reached for comment.

Updated 2 p.m.:

Prater will transfer to Wisconsin or Northwestern, his mother told the Chicago Tribune in this report.

Prater, who attended high school in Illinois, announced Monday that he was leaving USC.

“He needs to be around his support group, and that’s his family,” Sonya Prater told the Tribune. “It will be either Wisconsin or Northwestern. I made sure he kept his academics up. He may have had other issues, but I made sure of that first and foremost. He will get his degree.”

The 6-foot-5 Prater played in 10 games last season but caught only one pass.

If he transfers to either of the Big Ten Conference schools, he would have to sit out a season.

Prater redshirted in 2010 and played last season, so he would have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Armstead, a fifth-year senior, was denied medical clearance to play last season.

"We're just trying figure out what decision he wants to make about school," said Guss Armstead, Armond's father. "We still really don't know."

Armstead, 21, could return to USC, declare for the NFL draft or transfer. If he transfers, he would not have to sit out a season because he graduated in December.

"He's going to make that decision in a couple days," his father said.

Armstead was briefly hospitalized last spring after experiencing chest pain. Though he said he does not have a heart condition, he was not allowed to participate in spring workouts or training camp while awaiting results from a battery of tests.

During the season, he said he had sought opinions from doctors outside USC and that all had come back negative.

Neither Armstead nor USC officials have commented on whether Armstead was cleared, but Coach Lane Kiffin announced after the third game that the 6-foot-5, 290-pound end would be a redshirt.

Armstead's brother Arik, a 6-8, 275-pound lineman regarded as one of the top prospects in the Class of 2012, had made a commitment to USC but backed out in October and visited Notre Dame when the Trojans played at South Bend, Ind.

Arik Armstead, who attends Pleasant Grove High in Elk Grove, Calif., near Sacramento, said USC's handling of his brother's situation contributed to his decision. He said at the time that he had not ruled out attending USC.

Now he reportedly is considering offers from Notre Dame, Auburn, California, Oregon and Texas.

Last week, Armond Armstead told the Orange County Register that Notre Dame, Auburn and Arkansas were possible destinations if he transferred.

Receiver Brice Butler, another fifth-year senior, also is reportedly considering transferring.

Kiffin announced Monday that defensive lineman DeVante Wilson had enrolled as a freshman for the spring semester. Wilson, from Corona High, signed with USC in February, but suffered a knee injury and did not attend classes.

--Gary Klein