Ayers: And then there were two

ONE DAY after being named all-classifications All-State, hoss Steven Ayers out of Bellingham's Sehome High is looking to the heavens to decide if he's going to become a Cougar or a Rebel. The 6-4, 275 pound offensive lineman talks recruiting and also offers some insight on what his decision will come down to in the end.

"Definitely UNLV and Washington State have emerged above the others -- I just made that decision in the last week or so," said Ayers. "I had been looking at some of the other schools but those were the two schools that I decided to pursue."

Ayers said between the Cougs and Rebs, it's a dead heat.

"Among those two, there really isn't a favorite," he said. "There are positives and negatives to both of them and the thing is, the trips, they just made it less black and white. I used to be able to say if I went here, I'd have this benefit and if I went there, I'd have that benefit. But as I went to the schools I found out that may (be the case) but that doesn't mean it just doesn't exist here either."

The three primary areas Ayers said he's basing his college decision on are education, football program and lifestyle.

"Ultimately for me, it's not necessarily where I want to go but where God wants me to go. I'm excited about both these schools and I could go to either of them, so I just need to sit down and decide which one is the one for me. They're both great schools," he said.

AYERS HAS OFFICIALLY tripped to both schools, Washington State back in November and UNLV this past weekend. He's also had recent in-homes with both schools, as well as Idaho, and UNLV is scheduled to come by again tomorrow.

Ayers said he's enjoying the process, and where he'll end up spending the next four or five years from his life is never far from his thoughts.

"It's always on my mind," he said. "Man, I don't know. I've just got to think about it and pray about it."

Ayers had said January would be the most likely time for his verbal but this week mentioned he could also end up making the call sometime before the end of the year.

"I'm kind of, hopefully, taking these next couple weeks and coming to a decision - late December or early January," said Ayers.

RANKED AMONG THE top 40 o-line prep prospects in the nation by Scout.com, Ayers has seven offers -- WSU, UNLV, Oregon State, Boise State, Idaho, Eastern Washington and Western Washington. He said the other Washington school, the UW, was showing significant interest in Ayers earlier in the year but has since tailed off over the past couple of months.

"As it goes on, it becomes clearer and clearer who sees you as a No. 1 guy, and who sees you as a 2-or-3 guy. And Washington has obviously designated me as a 2-or-3 guy and you know, that's fine by me, I have two great options," he said.

Steven Ayers profile

Ayers is an explosive lineman, with strength numbers that reflect that. He has a power clean best of 340 pounds, a 550-pound squat and a 340-pound bench press.

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