Stevens to attend USC camp

The storyline heading into this weekend's Rising Stars Camp just became a lot more interesting with the recent addition of Hemet (CA.) offensive lineman Hamani Stevens to the weekend lineup.

Stevens verbally committed to UCLA Saturday, but in the few days following his commitment, it seemed like a shadow of doubt had cast over the mind of this three-star prospect.

"I committed to UCLA Saturday," said Stevens. "The UCLA coaches were telling me that they were limited on rides for the offensive line, and that they had already reached three offensive line commits, which is the number they were originally aiming for. The coaches at UCLA let me know when they got their first, second and third commitments for the offensive line. So on Saturday I talked with the coaches (at UCLA) and they let me know that they were going to fight to get me the fourth offer. They let me know that if I wanted to be a Bruin, then that was the time. He told me the scholarships were running really low and I didn't want to pass up that opportunity. So I committed right then."

Although Hamani is still committed to the Bruins, he has not completely ruled out the thought of checking out other schools, in particular, USC.

"I've been talking to USC for a while now," he said. "They actually came out and watched me before UCLA. They've been letting me know that they want to take a better look at me, and I'm fine with that. I want to prove that I can play there I am going to head to the Rising Stars Camp this weekend and dominate."

Stevens will have a lot riding on the line during his upcoming camp experience at USC, as he will try to go out and earn a scholarship offer from the Trojans after it is all said and done.

"I'm going to show them (the USC coaches) that I can play football at that level," Stevens said. "I'm going to go out there and kick butt, I'm just going to play football. The coaches at USC invited me to the camp, and they have been telling me that I'm on the bubble, telling me that I'm also high on their list. They (the USC coaches) told me to just go out there and dominate, be a beast."

Stevens will undoubtedly have his chance to prove himself this weekend, but how will the UCLA commitment react if the Trojans were to offer a scholarship following an impressive outing?

"I mean, that's a really big offer," he answered. "I wouldn't just hop on it right away, but I would definitely have to give them a look. I'm committed to UCLA and I respect them, so I am not going to hop on USC. I need to see what is out there for me, I need to see what will benefit me the most in the end. If it's USC, then its USC."

Regardless of how this situation pans out, the recruitment of Stevens will assuredly be interesting. Stevens has played multiple positions during his high school career, but is excited about lining up at center for the Rising Stars Camp.

"I definitely prefer offense," he answered when asked which side of the ball he preferred to play. "I probably prefer guard over any other spot on the line because you can line up and pull or you can get out and hit some linebackers. Center is a good spot too, that's the anchor and the quarterback of the line. The coaches at USC want me to work at center during the camp, but they told me if I wanted to play defense, they are all for it. Whichever position I have a chance to start at, I will play."

Stevens has had regular contact with defensive line coach Dave Watson dating back a few months, and the two have developed a relationship that Stevens has come to appreciate.

"Coach Watson is a real good guy," said Stevens. "We talk a good bit, and when we talk its almost always about football. He'll also ask me about how school is going, he's just real down-to-earth."

The current Trojans' roster is loaded with Polynesian players, something that Stevens has taken note of. Stevens is actually related to current Trojans Fili Moala and Tiny Malu, two players he has kept in contact with throughout the recruiting process.

"Fili (Moala) and Tiny (Malu) are my cousins," explained Stevens. "They've been telling me about how incredible the atmosphere is down at USC, and letting me know how everything revolves around football. They just tell me it's a great place to be right now, and USC has good history with Tongan players."

Stevens will go out this weekend focused on the task at hand, but regardless of the outcome, he is still dedicated to visiting other schools, something he says the UCLA coaches should not be worried about.

"I'm still going to look around and see other colleges," he said. "I have a good enough relationship with the UCLA coaches for them not to worry about me doing that."

The three-star prospect will make a return trip to Westwood tomorrow in hopes of figuring out where his commitment to the Bruins lies, but as Stevens tells WeAreSC.com, the chances of him de-committing from UCLA are pretty slim.

"I'm going to UCLA tomorrow actually to figure out my commitment and make sure it is final," he said. "The commitment is a little shaky right now, and that is why I am going to head down there tomorrow. For me to go to a different school is pretty unlikely, and that school would really have to blow my mind for me to switch my commitment. I would have to fit in at that place like a piece to a puzzle."

Will Stevens become a piece to the Trojans recruiting puzzle? WeAreSC.com will have more from the Rising Stars Camp this weekend on Stevens and his commitment to the Bruins.


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