Medford (Ore.) four-star wide receiver Chase Cota received a scholarship offer after unofficially visiting USC Friday and then proved why he is one of the region’s best players at the Under Armour in Los Angeles Sunday.
Placing third in the Ill Speed Challenge, Cota is known for having impeccable routes, strong hands and tremendous ball skills. He displayed as much at the USC Rising Stars Camp last June. That was his first trip to see USC.
“The last visit was different because I already knew the landscape,” said Cota. “I didn’t have to walk around campus. I just caught up with the coaches and talked with those guys.
“I stayed in the football building and learned more about the academics and football program.”
Unlike his visit last summer, Cota left USC with a scholarship offer. That adds to the scholarship offers he has from Oregon, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Washington State.
“I spoke to Coach (Tee) Martin two weeks in advance over DM’s (direct messaging), so three days ago he said he really wanted to see me,” said Cota. “I thought it was 50-50 I would get an offer.
“It was cool because I felt like I earned it. They expressed that because I had been to their camp and the coaches said I earned the right to become a USC Trojan. They really let me know they wanted me.
“I ended up talking with Coach Martin for a couple of hours and got to know him. Then I met with Coach (Clay) Helton, so it was a really cool experience.”
USC signed two wide receivers in 2017 with plus 6-foot-2 size. At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, Cota fits the bigger mold of receiver the Trojans have been pushing for with Clay Helton as head coach.
“They see me primarily as an outside receiver,” said Cota. “Most schools that have offered me see me there. USC loses some guys this year and next season who are bigger guys, so they want more of those guys on the roster.”
Having unofficially visited USC last summer, Cota had a keen interest in how the Trojans would play last season. From start to finish, he tracked Helton’s first season as head coach.
“So my uncle Mike is a really big USC fan,” said Cota. “I’ve kind of watch them with him forever, and then this season, I kept tabs on them because I went to their camp and knew their coaches.
“Seeing that nine-game turnaround and them winning the Rose Bowl was really special. I think Coach Helton really has it rolling. It is putting something good together.”
With his second visit to USC in the books, Cota summed up his interest in the Trojans.
“I definitely have high interest in USC,” said Cota. “I think Coach Martin is a really great man… the same with Coach Helton.
“I like the players they have on the team. The can recruit the best talent and the best personalities, so there’s a good morale around the program there. The schooling is also second to none, so it’s a good deal.”
Cota has taken unofficial visits up and down the West Coast. He is clearly a step ahead in the process of determining what he wants in a college.
“I’m pretty sure I want to pursue a business degree, so I’m definitely looking into school with those programs more so,” said Cota. “I know what most of these school have to offer and I’ve been to most of the schools in the Pac-12.
“Now it’s just a matter of finding the right fit with the coaches and system. I don’t have a final list or anything. I’m just hoping to finish up basketball season and then later in the spring come out with a top five or something. I have no true favorites at this time.”
Cota would like to make a decision before his senior season, but he is not committed to that timeline.
“It would be nice to have it done by the end of summer, but if not, I’ll take my official visits,” said Cota. “I’m not in any rush to make a decision.”