Running back Ben Axon (6-1, 200) of Bradenton, Fla., has decommitted from Clemson and committed to USC.
Axon had committed to the Tigers in June, but after the resignation of Tommy Bowden, his commitment weakened considerably. Today, USC assistants Robert Gillespie and David Reaves were by his school, and shortly after that Axon made the decision to go with the Gamecocks.
"It was just the sudden downfall of the Clemson program," Axon said. "They are going downhill. They lost to Georgia Tech, which I thought was very important to coach Swinney. It just didn't seem right for me to go up there. I was a Tiger and I was committed to Clemson. Clemson felt like home to me. But I've made my decision and I hope everybody respects that."
Axon said USC also was one of the first schools to offer him and he always remained interested in the Gamecocks.
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"Instant playing time and the difference between the SEC and the ACC," he said in giving reasons for going with USC. "At Clemson, I was guaranteed a little playing time if I worked hard, but at South Carolina I was guaranteed the starting job if I work hard. Watching them play LSU this weekend made me think even harder about being a Gamecock. The only thing they didn't have was a running game."
Axon said it's a "pretty solid" commitment to USC. He was scheduled to visit Clemson Nov. 15 but doesn't think he'll make that now. Purdue also has been showing interest and he could take a visit there.
He has not set his date for an official visit with the Gamecocks. Axon is the first running back to commit to the Gamecocks for the 2009 class.