Stovall Snags UCLA Offer

Mar. 12 -- Four-star running back Melquise Stovall has plans to visit both USC and UCLA today and tomorrow after earning offers from both schools in the past week...

Four-star Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete running back Melquise Stovall has had a big week. Starting with a USC offer toward the end of last week, Stovall then won MVP honors at The Opening Regional in Los Angeles, and today, he bookended his big week with another offer, this one coming from UCLA.

"It's huge," Stovall said of the two offers from the local schools. "Just being my two hometown schools, I'm really excited. Now it's all about just getting a feel for both schools. I'll be down at USC today and then UCLA tomorrow."

Stovall has been to both schools before, but he's hoping to get a bit more out of each visit this time around.

"I've been to both USC and UCLA before, but I really haven't taken a tour that in-depth," Stovall said. "I've toured the football facilities and things like that, but not the schools themselves and I'm hoping to get that done on these visits."

With UCLA, Stovall has been in touch with a variety of coaches so far, and it sounds as if the Bruins are recruiting him as a running back/slot receiver.

Stovall at the Opening L.A.
"I talked to Coach (Scott) White and Coach (Demetrice) Martin, but the person who offered me was Coach (Eric) Yarber," Stovall said. "I think my performance at the camp on Sunday played a role, because they wanted to see how I did against the bigger boys and things like that. I think it played a big part in it."

Stovall has said a couple of times to reporters that he grew up a USC fan, and he didn't back off that statement when we spoke to him today, though it didn't sound as if it would be a dominant factor in his recruitment.

"It's going to play a role, but at the end of the day, there's still going to be some looking around, and how I'm going to fit in each program in regards to how they're going to use me," Stovall said. "I still need to get a feel for every school and where I'm going to be living for the next four or five years."

That subject comes up often with Stovall -- his comfort level with the environment surrounding the schools, from weather to the quality of kids the school brings in.

"I just want to get a feel for where I'm going to live, because I'm a Cali guy and I don't know necessarily that I want to go to Washington and sit in some rain, you know?" Stovall said. "I still have some looking to do, as far as me getting used to the coaches. Making sure the kids I'm around aren't trouble makers and things like that."

Stovall is taking that evaluation process seriously, and already has a plan for visits over the next month in addition to his visits to the local schools this week.

"I plan to take some official visits too, but for now it's just unofficial," Stovall said. "I'm getting down to Washington on April 17th, I'm getting down to California the weekend of the 3rd and the 4th, and hopefully Arizona State on the 10th. And then I'll be getting down to San Diego State at some point since it's local too."

In addition to the schools that have already offered, Stovall is hoping to snare offers from a few other schools after his performance this past weekend.

"Hopefully Arizona and Oregon," Stovall said. "Also LSU, schools like that. I really haven't heard much from anyone else yet, besides the schools already offering me."

The four-star plans to make his decision before or during his senior season of football because he plans to enroll early in the school of his choice. He said it could happen anytime.

"I want to take visits and check out all these schools just to get used to all of the different coaches and things like that," Stovall said. "But if something feels good, then it could happen."

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