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Real Claiborne Stands Up, Says He Will Attend USC

February 07, 1996|JIM HODGES

A week ago, an impostor was calling newspapers and radio stations, saying he was Chris Claiborne and would sign a letter of intent to play football at USC.

Not so, said the real Claiborne, a linebacker from Riverside North High who added that he was going to visit Notre Dame last weekend.

He was greeted in South Bend, Ind., by temperatures that dipped to minus-10, and on Tuesday made the impostor seem prescient by saying, yes, he would be attending USC after all.

"The real reason was that I wanted to play close to home, to be close to my mom," he said. "And the temperature at Notre Dame certainly made [the decision] a lot easier. I'm a California kid."

He made his announcement the day before he and more than 100 other Southern California high school seniors, as well as thousands across the nation, will sign football letters of intent with Division I universities.

Many of the players have already said where they will go and a few may change their minds. One who has not announced is Ralph Brown II, who played running back at Bishop Amat but is seen as a college defensive back. Brown is said to be considering USC and Nebraska.

Twenty-three players, 21 from high school and two from junior college, have said they will sign with USC. UCLA, which got a late start on recruiting because of the coaching transition from Terry Donahue to Bob Toledo, says it has been told by 18 high school players and one junior collegian that they want to be Bruins.

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