Sources: Blake Ayles eyes transfer
Ayles hasn't said anything publicly, however, and Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said he heard that Ayles was "contemplating some things" but was not aware of any finalized decision.
"That's all I know," Kiffin said. "I don't know that anything's happened."
Ayles, a junior, is able to freely transfer to any school of his choosing outside of the Pac-10 conference because of NCAA sanctions issued to USC last June. Six players took advantage of that aspect of the sanctions last summer, including defensive end Malik Jackson, who transferred to Tennessee, and fullback D.J. Shoemate, who picked UConn.
A possible destination for Ayles, sources say, is Miami. Former USC tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Brennan Carroll was recently named to the same post with the Hurricanes, and Carroll was one of Ayles' primary recruiters out of Orange (Ca.) Lutheran High.
Ayles had followed two high school teammates to USC in quarterback Aaron Corp and offensive lineman Michael Reardon, but both players have since departed the school. Corp transferred to FBS school Richmond last offseason; Reardon recently told the coaching staff he has decided on an early retirement from football and will not return for his fifth year at USC.
Ayles would become the second Trojan to transfer this offseason. Redshirt junior defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo transferred to BYU last month in what was termed a family decision.
In three seasons at USC, Ayles totaled 14 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown. His lone catch in 2010 was a memorable 54-yard catch-and-run on a throw from quarterback Matt Barkley in an October win over Cal.
Pedro Moura covers colleges for ESPNLosAngeles.com.