When Ty Isaac orally committed to the University of Southern California on May 15, the Joliet Catholic running back thought the recruiting process was over.
The plan was to rush for another 2,500 yards or so, win a state championship and enroll early at USC.
"That didn't work out so well," Isaac said.
Injuries, which were relatively minor, put a damper on his and Joliet Catholic's season and led to questions about Isaac's toughness.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior admitted the social media chatter "irritated" him at first, but he learned to ignore it.
USC's season was even rockier than Joliet Catholic's, and concerns about the direction of the storied program under Lane Kiffin's leadership were not as easy to dismiss.
So the five-star recruit continued to talk to Notre Dame and, to a lesser extent, Michigan. When Bret Bielema left Wisconsin for Arkansas in December, the Razorbacks suddenly entered the mix.
After far more deliberation than originally planned, Joliet Catholic's all-time leading rusher will put pen to paper on a contract bearing USC letterhead Wednesday morning.
"I think the whole process, it kind of teaches you about yourself," he said. "It is tough to go to a school so far away. They didn't have the best season. Everyone who lives around you is saying you should stay in the Midwest.
"It's tough. It wears on you. At that point you've got to figure out how mentally tough you are. Is USC the right decision? I wasn't going to base that on wins and losses, just the best situation for me. I wouldn't say I had doubts. I had concerns everybody has in the process. I made the right decision."
Isaac wasn't the only USC recruit to question his oral commitment.
Kiffin had secured 18 of them by July, at which point his recruiting class was considered one of the best in the nation.
Heading into signing day that number is 13, though with five five-stars and eight four-stars, the Trojans still rank in the Top 10.
"I had known three of the guys were going to decommit all along," Isaac said. "When I met them I didn't think they were going to pan out. A few kids, it did surprise me, but for the most part I saw it coming, and now people are going to make a big deal. We're going to be fine."
Isaac is not deaf to the firestorm of criticism thrown at Kiffin both locally and nationally, and he inquired about the reported brawl in the locker room following USC's 21-17 loss to Georgia Tech.
"Just another one of those things you get in the media that sounds terrible, but when I talked to 20 guys that were in the locker room, it's not the same story. It could be them telling me what I want to hear, but players don't need to do that."
As for Kiffin's reputation, Isaac said, "If I didn't know him personally, I would think if this is all you hear about a guy, it's probably true. But I do know him personally, so I know it's not the case."
Simeon Reggie Spearman picks Iowa, while Kendall Moore chooses Syracuse. Find out where other players are going at prepsplus.com.