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Buford's Dillard to play for USC, not Yale

Ryan Dillard always wanted to play college football for a big time program.

More than two months after signing with Yale on national signing day, the Buford senior will get the chance.

Dillard was accepted to the University of Southern California on April 13 and will enroll at the Pac-12 school as a preferred walk-on in May.

"I just felt like USC was a better fit for me academically, athletically and socially," Dillard said.

Because Dillard signed a financial aid grant with Yale and not a National Letter of Intent, he was able to make the college switch after signing day. Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships.

"It was a tough decision, but I put my faith in it," Dillard said.

When Dillard signed with Yale in February, he chose the Ivy League school over offers from Harvard, Illinois, Indiana, Air Force, Army and Navy.

At 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, many college recruiters were deterred by Dillard's height, which he said was not a concern with USC coaches.

"I called Coach (Ed) Orgeron up to see how he would fit," said Ryan's father Oscar Dillard. "He showed his film to Monty Kiffin and he said he looked like Rhonde Barber and Tim Wansley, who he won Super Bowls with in Tampa Bay."

Dillard maintains a 3.9 GPA and helped Buford make four Class AA state championship game appearances and win three state titles.

"I know all the top receivers are on the West Coast and I want to compete against them," Dillard said. "I'm pretty confident I can get on the field quickly. I'm hungry and want to show what I can do. I want to show all the coaches that overlooked me."

The switch to USC likely ends an interesting recruiting journey for Dillard. He originally committed to Air Force in December and then changed his mind in January. Dillard signed with Yale in February and is now headed to Southern California.

"It's been a crazy couple of months," Dillard said. "The whole recruiting process has been crazy."