Defensive back Thomas Finnie of Miami, one of the top recruits in USC's 2011 class, changed his commitment to Miami on Friday morning just hours before he was to arrive in Columbia to officially enroll at USC.
Miami Central coach Telly Lockett said Finnie (5-10, 165) and his family were supposed to leave for Columbia at 5 a.m. Friday, but Finnie called him around 9:45.
"The kid is supposed to be halfway to South Carolina and calls me and says he wants to come in and talk, and I said, talk about what?" Lockett said.
A last-minute pitch from Miami apparently was enough for the Hurricanes to scoop defensive back Finnie away from South Carolina.
"I'm battled right now. I'm not happy," Lockett said. "This is no knock on Coach (Al) Golden (of Miami), but no one (from Miami) talked with me about Thomas. I've got nothing in writing. I'm all messed up. I'm lost for words right now.
"Jeep (Hunter) sat in here with both parents and all was good," Lockett said.
Lockett said he will meet with Finnie again later Friday.
CaneSport.com reported Friday morning that Finnie and his father drove to the Miami campus this morning and committed to Golden. He now plans to enroll there Jan. 18.
Finnie committed to USC in July but told the Web site he'd never met Steve Spurrier.
"I wanted to make sure I had a place to go," Finnie said.
Miami did not recruit Finnie before this week, according to the report. He had been the eighth commitment for the Gamecocks' 2011 class.
South Carolina's recruiting class grew to 28 this week with the commitments of the Gerald Dixon brothers from the Rock Hill area.
Then linebacker Brandon Golson learned he wouldn't be admitted because of academics. With his and Finnie's departures, USC now has 26 commitments for the upcoming class.