And despite much interest from Southern schools, Stokes never wavered on his commitment.
So when he finally had a chance to take an official trip to UCLA, Stokes said that any doubts he may have had were wiped away by the visit. "It was real fun," said Stokes. "I loved hanging out with the guys. They are like family there, they have fun together on and off the field."
Stokes was hosted by junior defensive end Justin Hickman. "Justin is a real cool guy, and he introduced me to all of the guys. I got along with them real well," said Stokes.
What also stood out to Stokes was the weather and the campus. He said, "It was nice, nice weather. They thought it was cold, but it was just right for me. I liked the campus. It has some nice buildings and everything is right there."
Stokes got to spend time meeting with defensive line coach Thurmond Moore and head coach Karl Dorrell. "Coach Moore is a good coach. He's very focused when he coaches. Coach Dorrell, he's a nice guy. He's not as quiet as I thought he was," said Stokes.
Stokes said the visit only firmed up his decision. "I'm not taking any other trips. I feel real good about my decision. They told me that I might come in and have a lot of playing time, but that I have to work hard and earn it. I'm going to have to work my way up there," Stokes said.
In the meantime, Stokes is playing basketball and was in Florida for a high school tournament. "I'm playing power forward and I'm doing what I can to help these guys get a scholarship in basketball, so I don't shoot much. I'm playing to stay in shape and help my boys out," said Stokes.
As a senior, Stokes finished the season with 155 tackles and 19 sacks and as a junior, Stokes tallied 137 tackles and 9.5 sacks, giving him 292 tackles and 28.5 sacks in his final two seasons.
Academically, Stokes said he is fully qualified with a 3.1 GPA and a 19 on the ACT.