Lake Orion (Mich.) running back Marques Stevenson was confident the scholarship offers would start arriving before too long, but he did not expect to receive his first from a program located in the state of Colorado. That offer came earlier this week.
"I got an offer from the Air Force Academy," Stevenson reported. "It was kind of out of the blue. They called my house yesterday and they came by the school today.
"I liked [the Air Force coach], he's very personable and we had great communication. A lot of coaches you are not really sure if you would fit in with them, but with him I felt like I fit in pretty good. I still have to meet the whole staff on a visit. I just talked to my family about it today and I actually have family out in Colorado. I'll probably go out this summer."
As a junior, the 5-8, 180-pound Stevenson split carries with another back in Lake Orion's backfield, but still managed 80 rushes for 500 yards and nine touchdowns, earning all-area recognition in the process. The Air Force Academy saw enough of him on film, as well as in his transcripts, to determine that Stevenson was the type of player for them.
"Really, they said they like the explosive, fast players," Stevenson said. "They said from what they've heard about me, I have the best balance of not only speed and athleticism, but also leadership and academic capabilities."
The Service Academies are unique in that they place the highest premium on attributes like leadership. Now that he has an offer from Air Force, Stevenson will consider whether that is an environment he can excel in.
"I think I can fit into any environment, quite frankly," Stevenson said. "The Air Force Academy is people who don't mind being challenged in a different way than what they would expect in a normal university. I'm up for that and will definitely consider it."
Stevenson noted that he plans on receiving many more offers in the coming months, but when it comes to the recent offer from Air Force, he is "definitely going to consider it heavily."
Stevenson plans to make a decision before the start of his senior season. He has taken visits to a couple of Midwest programs this spring and is hearing from schools from across the country.
"I went to Bowling Green Sunday for a camp down there. I've been to Michigan twice. Those were my only spring stops," Stevenson reported. "Harvard says they are pretty close to offering. All the Ivy Leagues, basically, I feel I could play for. I'm going to check out some more MAC schools like Central [Michigan] and Toledo.
This summer, Stevenson plans to attend camps at Bowling Green and Michigan for sure. In the classroom he holds a 3.65 GPA and he has scored a 25 on the ACT.