Scott Starr had his phone inside while he and his family enjoyed a barbecue Monday but then the Norco, Calif., linebacker checked his messages and his high school coach let him know that USC coach Lane Kiffin wanted him to call.
So Starr called Kiffin, who let him know that he had an offer from USC and that the Trojans' staff thought he resembled former linebacker Brian Cushing, a huge compliment to Starr, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound four-star recruit.
Minutes after talking it over with his family, Starr called back and committed to the Trojans.
"The way I was recruited was like Cushing because not all the coaches were completely sold on him when he was in high school," Starr said.
"After I got off the phone with (Kiffin) I talked to my family and they put their two cents in and I asked them what they thought and I felt it was just right to commit.
"I grew up watching this team and there are always going to be doubters saying I can't do something. I've heard my entire life I couldn't play college football and that I wouldn't start on varsity in high school. I always pushed because nobody can tell me what I can and can't do."
Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, San Diego State, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Washington and Washington State also offered Starr, who's rated No. 110 by Rivals.com.
But USC was always his dream school and once the Trojans offered on Monday it only took him a few hours to make his college decision. Starr was outstanding in his junior season at Norco and is setting up to have a big senior year as well.
"In the fifth or sixth grade I was telling people my dream was to play football at USC while other kids were saying they want to be astronauts and firefighters," Starr said. "All my friends are texting me and letting me know they remember me saying that."