“It's very surreal getting my first offer,” Stephens said. “It only makes me want to work harder. (Saguaro) coach (Jason) Mohns is always working hard to get his kids noticed and we all can't thank him enough. It's an honor to be offered by a very good Division I program, let alone it being my first.”
Louisville is not the only program showing early interest in the 6-foot-3 285-pounder.
“I've talked to Ivy League schools Dartmouth and Cornell,” Stephens said. “I met Michigan State's quarterbacks coach when he stopped by Saguaro a little while ago. Last Thursday, (Arizona State) coach (Mike) Norvell stopped by Saguaro and I introduced myself to him."
Stephens already has a connection to the local Sun Devils.
“I grew up an ASU fan,” Stephen said. “Almost all of my family are big ASU fans. I love the way coach (Todd) Graham has come in and instilled discipline, which after the (Dennis) Erickson era, is exactly what they needed. I think they are definitely on the path to success right now.”
An offer from Arizona State would mean a lot to Stephens but it would not end his recruitment.
“I would not commit right away (if ASU offered),” Stephens said. “I'm only a sophomore and need to take visits and get to see any colleges that I am lucky enough to be able to attend. When I commit, I want it to be solid and not take any more visits. ASU would most definitely be a top option.”
To this point, Stephens has not made any unofficial visits to schools outside of participating in ASU’s Big Man competition with his teammates last summer. He will be in attendance this June to take part in the event again.
“I have not really visited any schools yet,” Stephens said. “I look forward to [making visits]."
Stephens played 14 games at left tackle for the Division III state champions. According to coach Mohns he projects best to center or guard in college. His coach also told Scout.com that his lineman has a high football IQ and carries a 4.37 grade point average.
Saguaro has been one of the top programs in Arizona for over a decade now and despite losing several seniors to graduation, Stephens feels good about the future.
“I'm expecting to work hard and win another state championship, Stephens said. “We lost, in my opinion, one the greatest high school players to ever play in Arizona in Christian Kirk but we were also surprisingly young last year and return four offensive linemen.”