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Jaeden Gould thought he would be a USC Trojan, like many committed to the program early in the fall. 

Of course the program cut ties to Clay Helton in September, kicking off the wildest coaching carousel in recent memory. The sweeping changes created what was almost a secondary recruitment for the New Jersey native. But the program he will play for was there even before USC was. 

"I'll be committing to Nebraska," Gould told Sports Illustrated. "The coaches are great, I feel like the team is right there in terms of success, too. They played some tough games with some pretty good teams last year. 

"They just need a couple more pieces to turn it around."

Scott Frost and his staff sold the Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic star on being a part of the change, but the familiarity with the Huskers' roster also played a major role in the decision to end the process in the Big Ten.

Gould backed off of the USC commitment on December 1 and the first coaching staff to come see him during the NCAA's contact period will be the one to sign him as a member of the 2022 recruiting class.

"Pretty much the day after I decommitted they were at the school already," he said. "I have a teammate, Rahmir Johnson, that goes there. One of my coaches is a GA there, too, so I felt comfortable with them compared to other schools that were just coming on. I felt like it was a family atmosphere with them.

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"I always had a good relationship with them, even since my freshman year when I first visited. Then I took my official visit and I really enjoyed it. It was great, they love their football out there! That's their biggest thing and they pretty much sell out every game. Just the community, the school, everybody is invested."

Despite several additional programs making a run at the SI99 recruit, ranked No. 74 nationally this year and No. 4 among nickel defensive back projections, Gould could see time throughout the Blackshirt secondary. 

"They feel like with my skillset and with my size, I can play anywhere in the secondary from corner to safety to nickel -- whatever they need," he said. "That's important to me, utilizing everything in my ability towards my goals, so I feel like that defense will help me be able to develop."

Michigan State, Florida, Rutgers, Penn State and Maryland were some of the programs the senior, listed at 6'2", 190 pounds, said had been in contact. The new staff at USC, which Gould was originally considering sticking with earlier in the fall, was less consistent especially compared to Nebraska. That, coupled with less familiarity in the cross-country program's new coaching staff led to reopening the recruiting process as a whole. 

Now, Gould will sign a National Letter of Intent to Nebraska on Wednesday morning, officially ending the process less than 24 hours after a final verbal commitment. 

"It's great, this process since my freshman year has been nothing but a blessing," he said. "It does have its moments where it can get kind of hectic, stressful, overwhelming -- but it's a blessing to be able to sign and play Division I football. It's something I've always wanted to do since I first stepped on a football field."

Nebraska has its first SI99 recruit on board in Gould, who is the 12th verbal commitment for Frost in the class.