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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sarmiento Commits to University of Southern California

When I saw Raymond Sarmiento in Tulsa, I asked him if had made any decision on college, and he assured me he hadn't but that I would be one of the first to know. True to his word, he emailed me late last night with the news that he had committed to the University of Southern California and I spoke with him by phone a couple of hours ago to get a few more details on his choice.

I did a profile of Sarmiento early this summer for The Tennis Recruiting Network, and at that time he hadn't narrowed down his choices, although he told me today that they basically were USC, Texas and Michigan. He visited Texas, and with USC not that far from his home in Fontana, went on two unofficials there, one of them during the Ring Ceremony, when the Trojans received their NCAA National Team Championship rings. But he says it wasn't the prospect of winning another national title that nudged him toward USC.

"I didn't consider it that much, their NCAA championships," he said. "I thought about the team, the coaches, how it was close to home. Not too far, and not too close."

But aside from those tangibles, Sarmiento said that he "just had a feeling" about USC. "USC was just a part of me, I guess. It was just me."

Sarmiento would like to play professional tennis after college and thinks playing at USC can help him reach that goal. As for his academic interests, Sarmiento mentioned the business and art schools at USC and also is considering sports management as a possible major.

The 2009 International Grass Court champion and U.S. Open Junior quarterfinalist is hoping to play the upcoming Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl tournaments--"it depends on my schoolwork, but I'm planning to," he said.

After two years at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, Sarmiento, the third ranked blue chip on the Tennis Recruiting Network and 39th ranked boy in the ITF World Junior rankings, is now training at the West Coast Training Center in Carson and at The Academy at Sunset Hills in Thousand Oaks, Calif. For more on that newly created Academy, see this article in the Ventura County Star.