We talked for about an hour and a half and Mark developed a real good rapport with Coach Chow. That was really the first time he had a chance to sit down with him that way and when they talked it wasn't all about football. For a dad, that's huge. They talked about school, people, friends, character, the university side of things. Don't get me wrong, we love football, it's wonderful and we have a passion for it but academics is more important. To have a chance to sit down and chat one-on-one like that was an exciting opportunity for Mark.
When we visited the other schools they went all out and showed us everything we needed to see in a limited amount of time while we were there. With USC that experience has been spread out over a long period of time. We've been to the Coliseum many times but when we sat down with Coach Carroll last Tuesday that was the first opportunity we've had to meet with the academic advisors, to see the business school, the dorms, the training table. We just hadn't had the chance to see that before at USC and it was great to see. We've had nothing but positive and good things in our experience. People ask us to compare the pros and cons of each school Mark is looking at but there aren't any cons, everyone has such a neat upside.
Mark is just so excited right now. He wants to go to school and he wants to play. His oldest brother was the first in our family to go to college, he went to Yale, and his middle brother went to DePauw University in Indiana. Both of them played football and the three of them are about as close as can possibly be. As a father it's a dream to have brothers be best friends and it's actually like Mark has three dads because we're all helping him with his decision. He's having a good time with the recruiting process and enjoying the fact that he gets to go through it. He's got a great coach to advise him (Bob Johnson at Mission Viejo) and I couldn't have more respect for Coach Johnson. I think a lot of people assume Bob is pushing for USC but that's not the case. I kind of wish he would advise us one way or the other but he just says they are all great schools and he gives Mark the most unbiased information he can."