Carlos Savala has been at the top of the USF board for months and after a long courtship, the 6-foot-7, 305 pound All-State offensive tackle from College of the Desert finally made his college choice.
"I committed to USF yesterday morning, said Savala. "I'm going to be a Bull!"
How did the commitment finally go down?
"I pretty much had my decision made up and I told them I'd let them know on Sunday when both Coach Canales and Coach Leavitt came by to see me. "
How did that meeting with Canales and Leavitt go?
"The meeting went pretty good. It was an off moment because we were recovering from going out for my birthday the night before. Coach came in and basically said what's going on, what are you going to do? I told them I'm going with you guys. I'm going to be a Bull! They were real excited I could just tell by looking at them that they were very happy."
When did you decide that you were going to pick USF?
"I decided for sure last Tuesday. I came back from my last visit and spent a day or two thinking about everything. Each school had up and downs, but USF had a lot more ups then the others, and I decided that USF was the best choice for me."
What were some of the reasons why you chose USF?
"When I went on my visit I liked a lot of things about the program. I got along great with the players and the coaches. I got to see practice before the bowl game and really liked the tempo of the practice, and liked how well everybody worked together. It seemed like I fit right in them. They're super guys."
Did USF being the first school to offer affect your choice?
"It definitely had me leaning their way from the beginning. I've been talking with them for so long compared to the other schools, that I felt we had a relationship."
How did your relationship with the USF coaches help in the decision?
"It helped a lot because I felt we were on a whole other level. When we spoke, they talked to me like a person and not just a football player. Coach Simmonds is a great guy also. He tried to show the best time when I was out there, and called me on a regular basis to make sure I knew how important I was to them."
Did Coach Canales being from your area make it easier?
"Yeah, it made it a lot easier. He knows people from around here, and that's the reason we met is because he knew my defensive line coach. He told me how good of a person he is, and that made it feel that much more comfortable."
Now that it's almost over how does your family feel about everything?
"They're very excited. My dad really likes the coaches and wanted me to go with them from the beginning. But I wanted to take a couple of trips, and make an informed decision."
What impact did your USF official visit in December have?
"It made me see that it's not that different from what I have at home. It's pretty much the same, the people are great the city is great and it felt just like home."
How did your interaction with the players help in the process?
"That was real important. They're a great bunch of guys, and it comes down to whether you can play with these guys and live with these guys. After meeting them, I know I can."
Are you relieved now that the decision is finally made?
"Oh yeah, it's been a long process. I got a lot of information and before choosing. It's a lot less strenuous thinking about what I'm going to do next, where am I going to call home for the next two years. It's a relief."
After a long process, what finally put USF over the top for you?
"I weighed out all the ups and downs, and there were things about Hawaii and Kansas that I really didn't like. It seemed like everything kept pointing back to USF. The players, the coaches, the area, everything just seemed right."
What are you going to do up until you get to campus?
"It's actually the first day of school, and I just got back. Pretty much I'm just going to finish up school and train every day and get in the best shape possible. I'll be there after the spring semester."
Will there be any signing day surprises?
"No sir, I'm 100 percent a Bull!"