Manfro Staying Close to Home

Valencia (Calif.) running back Steven Manfro gets an offer from his dream school, UCLA and commits to the Bruins...

Valencia (Calif.) running back Steven Manfro moved to California from New York when he was a kid, but when he got to Southern California, he latched on to UCLA as his favorite school to watch on the football field.

A few months ago, he got a call from Rick Neuheisel, the Bruins head coach telling him how much he was interested in the 5-10, 185-pounder.

Manfro was offered by Wyoming, but then a couple weeks back, Neuheisel told Manfro he wanted him to come on an official visit.

"Going into the visit, it showed me that they had high interest," said Manfro. "I didn't want to get my hopes up, but I felt like my chances were good. They had seen my highlight film and they were really interested."

Towards the end of the visit, Manfro got the news he'd been hoping for.

"Coach Neuheisel offered me a scholarship and I committed on the spot," said Manfro. "I grew up watching UCLA and going to their games. It's like a dream come true. I'm still having a hard time believing it."

Manfro had quietly hoped for the Bruins to pick up their interest level during a record-setting senior season.

The visit was a good chance for things to be sorted out.

"I was here for the whole weekend. I got to hang out with more of the coaches," said Manfro. "We fell in love with the campus, the coaching staff and the players. I talked with a lot of players, some of the guys I knew from Loyola. My host was John Young. And getting to talk with everyone, it was great. It's a dream scenario."

Manfro got to meet new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson while in Westwood.

"I met Coach Johnson and he seems like a really nice guy and he's hoping for big things to start happening," said Manfro. "They also want me to play punt returner and kick returner."

Manfro said his family is thrilled.

"My family loves it and that I'll be close to home and they can come to games," said Manfro.

Neuheisel gave Manfro a high compliment.

"Coach Neuheisel said I'm just like Danny Woodhead, I'm a taller Danny Woodhead and that's who I pattern my game after," said Manfro.

And he's glad to get the decision over with.

"I'm definitely relieved right now," said Manfro. "Because I got the best offer I can get, from the best school possible."

Manfro ran for a Valencia record 3,758 total yards in 2010, with 50 total touchdowns rushing, receiving and returning kicks.

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