At 6-2, 190 pounds, Keon Stephens is a big, physical receiver with strong hands and good body control. He routinely made circus type acrobatic catches playing for Rhare Breed during the spring 7v7 circuit and has been even more impressive with the pads on.
Stephens transferred in from San Bernardino and had to sit out the first part of the season. He quickly made up for lost time catching 30 balls for 564 yards and four touchdowns and also returned two kickoffs for scores. For a player his size, he runs well and is a powerful athlete, able to gain yards after contact and bully smaller defensive backs.
Recruiting has been slow for Stephens due to the transfer, missing the early part of the season and some confusion about his transcripts. At one point, it appeared Stephens was a question mark to qualify but he has worked hard in the classroom and is now on track to make it.
Tuesday morning, Stephens took an unofficial visit to UCLA and it sounds like the Bruins could be close to offering.
"Coach Yarner hit me up on twitter a few weeks ago and said he really liked my tape," Stephens said. "I took a visit down there and really liked it a lot. The whole staff was there and everyone knew who I was, I couldn't believe it. I talked with Coach Yarbs but also the DB coach, Coach Martin and Coach Mora as well.
"It felt like a big family there and I really had a lot of fun with those guys. At first I was a little nervous about visiting because UCLA is such a big school and I know how strong the academics are. After being around everyone though and having such a good experience, it would be an incredible opportunity. All the coaches were very positive and said if my transcripts check out OK, there's a good chance I'll be getting an offer so hopefully it happens."
San Diego State also called on Tuesday and it sounds like an offer could come shortly as well.
"They asked me if they offered, how serious would I consider them," Stephens said. "I think they wanted to know if I would commit right away to them and stay loyal, even if other schools came along. That's one of those things that's hard to answer because you have no idea who will come in and recruit you later in the process.
"I just told them I'm a man of word and loyalty is big for me. When I commit, I want it to be for good but I don't want to commit right away to something unless I really love the place. So I'm not sure what's going to happen with them but I'm definitely interested. Right now, I'm interested in anyone who wants to recruit me, I'm just looking for an opportunity to prove myself and show I can play."