Two years ago, Kenny Stills, an uncommitted wide reiever from Carlsbad, Calif., led his La Costa Canyon High team into the Division 1 state semis against Oceanside (the district that Stills grew up in before his family moved). Adding to the flood of emotions was a torrential downpour during the game.
"We couldn't throw the ball," Still says, "at all."
The Mavericks lost, 12-6, and Stills was left feeling that he could have done more. He used that off-season to get stronger in the weight room and ran routes with his teammates.
"That loss sort of haunted me," Stills said.
After a junior season in which he had more than 1,200 receiving yards, Stills impressed in the summer camp circuit and stood out at the Scout Combine in Los Angeles. At the event, he was timed in the 40 at a blistering 4.36. Top programs started showing interest..
Now, a few weeks removed from an official visit to Tennessee, the 6-foot-2 wideout is weighing his options. He held an offer from nearby USC, although that was pulled when Stills decided to take his official visits in the fall and the Trojans had filled their receiving quota for the year.
He still has plenty of interest from top-tier programs. Stills plans to visit Oklahoma in early November and then Florida over Thanksgiving. He is also contemplating a trip to Michigan on Nov. 21 when the Wolverines host Ohio State. Penn State and Notre Dame are still possibile landing spots as well. Stills, who wants the mix of an electric atmosphere and a program with tradition, plans on making a decision by early December.
"Recruiting is a lot like prom; you get all dressed up and she gets all dressed up. She does her hair fancy and her makeup. You both look your best," Stills said. "Then in the morning, you wake up and see what it all really looks like, when everything isn't pretty."
With offers from UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington, California cornerback Shaquille Evans will visit Arizona State on Nov. 2 ... Consensus top 10 player Sharrif Floyd will visit South Carolina on Oct. 23. He also changed his visit to Penn State from an official visit to an unofficial ... Sherrard Cadogan, a tight end from Camden (N.J.) Catholic, will take an official visit to Michigan State on Oct. 23 ... Rumored to be having second thoughts, wide receiver Shakim Phillips is solid on Boston College, saying, "I am with BC."
One of the most low-key players in the class of 2010 has been Ohio's Jordan Hicks, an outside linebacker from Lakota West High. Last season, Hicks was named first-team in the Greater Miami Conference and his recruitment has narrowed to six schools: Texas, Florida, Ohio State, USC, Alabama and Georgia. He visited Texas on Oct. 10 and will be at Florida in December. "The people that I am going to be surrounded by for the next four years is a big part," said Hicks.