USC commit wants Irish look

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Melquise Stovall has heard enough about Notre Dame to force an official visit this fall, despite the all-purpose back’s commitment to USC.

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Melquise Stovall wants a backup plan. That’s good news for Notre Dame, even if the 5-foot-7, 179-pound athlete from Lancaster, Calif., remains in the commitment column for USC.

Stovall said he’ll take an official visit to South Bend later this year to give himself an out should things unexpectedly fall apart with the Trojans. Stovall committed to USC in April and attended the Rising Stars Camp this summer.

“You never know what’s gonna happen from here to signing day, so I want to keep my options open,” Stovall said.

Washington State, Cal and Utah have also checked in with the four-star back, but it’s Notre Dame that’s been pushing most for an official visit. Stovall has been in contact with receivers coach Mike Denbrock and running backs coach Autry Denson. He’s also heard plenty about Notre Dame’s brand, including from former Irish All-American Manti Te’o, who talked to the players at The Opening on Wednesday.

Stovall said there’s no set date for his Irish official, although USC’s trip to South Bend on Oct. 17 could be a possibility.

“I want to get out there and see what the tradition is really like that you hear about on TV and from other people,” Stovall said. “There’s nothing like getting up there and getting to see it for yourself.”

Notre Dame likes Stovall on offense, which is where he’s played during the 7-on-7 tournament at Nike headquarters. USC sees a potential defensive back, despite Stovall’s undersized build. The Trojans’ position preference might be out of necessity considering USC is nearly full at receiver and is still in on more names.

For a player who believes he can start at USC as a freshman, depth charts appear to be a non-factor.

“How I look at it, you’ve gotta compete,” Stovall said. “So as long as I’m going out there and doing what I need to do and showing that I can start, it shouldn’t be a problem.”


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