Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei three-star cornerback Quentin Lake and his Monarch teammates attended the USC seven-on-seven tournament last weekend.
It was at that event USC offered scholarships to three of his underclassmen teammates. At the USC Skills Camp Saturday, it was Lake’s turn to earn a scholarship.
“It was a great opportunity for me to perform at my highest ability and I’m very grateful that the coaches respected my game and respected me as a person,” said Lake. “I went to the seven-on-seven tourney last week with my team and that’s when they first saw me play.
“I performed pretty well there too, so afterward, Coach [Clay] Helton told me to come back to the camp today. Obviously I did well enough to earn a scholarship. It’s great because USC has been a school I’ve watched.
“They’re a school that’s great in academics as well as in football, so I was really excited.”
Lake knew he was on USC’s radar going in to the camp, but that didn’t change his mindset for the event.
“I always have my mind focused,” said Lake. “There’s always going to be eyes on you, so you can never take a play off.
“You have to hustle in the drill and in between drills. I think that helped me today. If you’re taking plays off, the coaches will notice. If you hustle and are always around the ball, the coaches notice that too.
“I wasn’t nervous about the camp because I’m out there performing to my highest ability. I’m confident in my ability and so I’m happy as long as I’m playing up to my ability.”
While Lake spoke to Helton at the seven-on-seven tournament last weekend, Saturday’s camp afforded him much more time with the defensive staff.
“I was excited to meet the whole staff and humbled to learn from them,” said Lake. “I actually got a lot of insight into how they run their defense. Meeting the DB coach (Ronnie Bradford)...I loved him. I loved his passion for the game.
“They also talked to my dad for a bit, mostly about league stuff. I still pick up on that. My main goal is to get to the league. That’s my dream and I know going to USC would help me a lot with that.
“Any school can get you to the league, but you want to go where you have the best competition and players to make you better every single day.”
Quentin father is former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro safety, Carnell Lake. In addition to being a part of the NFL’s All Decade Team in the 1980’s, Quentin's father is also a UCLA Bruin alum.
“For me with recruiting, it’s going to be a long process,” said Lake. “I still want to keep all of my options open. I’m grateful to all of the schools showing interest in me.
“I mean, the SC offer is definitely up there on my list. The background and history of the school itself puts it up there. But the offer doesn’t change the process for me. I want to keep all of my options open. I want to make the best choice I can for myself.
“I am going to UCLA’s camp next week. I also want to visit Stanford and Washington. I love the area Washington’s campus is in and they had a solid defense last year. Stanford I like because of the education. Some of my teammates have gone to Stanford and it just seems like a great school to go to.”