Dream offer realized

Santa Margarita (Calif.) K.J. Costello has a working top five, but a scholarship offer from USC Thursday could set a decision in motion early.

Santa Margarita (Calif.) junior quarterback K.J. Costello had a feeling USC may offer him a scholarship soon.

After attending a throwing session, the USC coaching staff talked the talk about offering him a full ride, but never came clean on a time frame. Thursday was the day.

“Everyday things heat up and change with schools, but over the past few weeks, I’ve developed a real good relationship with Clay Helton,” said Costello. “I gained a lot of respect for him just getting to know him more on a personal level.

“I went out to the Skills Camp and spent some good time with Coach Helton and Coach Sark. They sort of told me they were trying to figure out the 2015 class. So now that they have that squared away, they let me know they want to move on to 2016.

“They have two to three targets they’d like to have, and they let me know I’m one of those guys.”

USC is the prototypical definition of a dream school for Costello. Thursday’s scholarship offer was best described as momentous.

The emotions are flying high right now,” said Costello. “This one is real special to me. My mom is an alum of USC and I’ve been watching them a long time now.

Carson Palmer went to my high school and I’ve been following him for a long time now., My emotions are through the roof, so I have to just take a step back and kind of enjoy it. I’m trying absorb it all.”

With USC his childhood favorite and the school being a family favorite, Costello admits some  temptation to commit to the Trojans on the spot.

However, the junior signal-caller wants to make a rational, thought out decision.

“I’m smarter than to make that emotional decision,” said Costello. “There are four or five schools that have really blown my mind. There are maybe five to seven schools right there with USC.

“I’ve been offered by all of the schools in my top five. Now it’s time for me to sit back and research. It’s time to evaluate each choice and find the school that best fits me.

Alabama blew me away on the visit. Coach (Nick) Saban and how they do things. Michigan is another big one for me. I really like Coach (Doug) Nussmeier and the academic, athletics combination there is huge.

Stanford is another big one. I just got back from visiting there. I take academics very seriously and they have the whole package there. Florida State was my first offer, and obviously they have quite a few quarterbacks for the 2015 class, but that’s still an interesting choice.

“Then you have USC and UCLA. It’s going to come down to which one fits me depth chart wise and where I feel comfortable. Which one best fits me.”

Costello has no time frame for a decision, although he leaves the door open for a pre-season commitment.

“I’ve got to sit down with my family and talk about it,” said Costello. “I’d be lying if I said I had a certain time frame. I’m just trying figure things out myself.

“If we do want to rush things, well not rush, but make a decision before the season in a bit of a time crunch, I may want to take a visit or two. But we start camp tomorrow, so my main focus is my team. Something could happen before the season, but I need to focus on my team and have as few distractions as possible,”

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