McCray Makes Jr. Day Decision

Fresno (Calif.) Bullard offensive guard Stephon McCray holds an offer from Colorado and he is receiving interest from Cal and USC among other Pac-12 programs. The Bears and Trojans invited him to junior day this weekend, and with both schools high on list, he had to decide which one he would attend…

Stephon McCray (6-3, 303) has visited California a few times. He took an unofficial visit to Berkeley last spring, camped there last summer, and attended two games at Memorial Stadium last fall.

He hasn't had the same experience at USC.

"I decided that it would be a good idea to meet the coaches and look into the school," McCray said of his decision to attend USC's junior day this weekend.

"I felt I was pretty comfortable with the Cal coaching staff," he added. "I've seen a portion of the campus and been to some games…this would be a great opportunity to see USC."

"I've talked to Coach [James] Cregg, the USC o-line coach. He says he would like to see some more stuff, and he would like to see me at their camp to battle against their top defensive recruits."

McCray says he hasn't told the Cal coaches that he will miss junior day. "I haven't been able to talk to them. I only have Coach M's (offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik) number. But I think his number is changed. I haven't been able to contact him. On Facebook, I sent the d-line coach [Tosh Lupoi] a message. I hope he gets it."

Michalczik is McCray's main recruiter. The new offensive line coach/offensive coordinator was recently hired, and he recruits Central California. "I haven't really talked to Cal about offering," said McCray. "I've talked to Coach M. He says he wants to get to know me better [before offering]. He said it's like a marriage; he doesn't want to rush into it. I'm working to get to know him better."

While he waits on the Bears and Trojans to continue evaluating him, Colorado has seen enough to pull the trigger.

"I've been talking to Coach [Jon] Embree, their head coach," said McCray. "It felt great that someone is interested in me to offer despite my junior season being cut short because of injury. If feels that all this hard work has paid off."

McCray is not naming any favorites and says he will consider schools that communicate with him. Right now, the Bears, Buffs, and Trojans top that list.

"Arizona contacted me and I'm hearing from all Pac-12 schools save maybe Utah and Arizona State," said McCray. "USC, Cal, and Colorado are the ones I keep in contact with the most. I haven't been able to talk to the new Arizona offensive line coach."

He first emerged on the recruiting scene as a 15-year-old 325-pound rising sophomore at the Fresno State team camp. There, he competed against current Cal Bear offensive linemen Geoff Gibson winning his share of 1-on-1 battles. The Bulldogs are another school in the picture.

"About a month ago, I got to meet their offensive coordinator [Jeff Grady]," said McCray. "He said they are definitely going to try to get in contact with me at their camp.

"I would definitely want to wait, and check out every possible school…and get to know everybody so I don't miss any potential chances."

Staying close to home could be an issue as McCray says he has never been far away from home to gage to effect of going away to school.

"I'm close to my mom. I can't really imagine being too far away from my home…that would probably be hard decision for me."

One decision was easy for McCray to make. The three-star prospect will play in the inaugural Cal State Game in December.

"I find it to be a real great honor," he said about the invite to play in the all-star game. "It was really out of the blue considering I didn't play a lot in my junior season. They said I would be competing against top talent in my age group…I thought it would be a great competition to compare myself."

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