Four-star quarterback K.J. Costello traveled the country the past few months, gathering information on colleges and picking up a handful of scholarship offers along the way.
On Thursday night, the Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita Catholic signal caller made perhaps the most meaningful phone call yet.
"I've been watching USC games since I was little, and I've always dreamed of this. I never knew it would actually happen, so when I got on the phone to call coach [Steve] Sarkisian and he made the offer, it was pretty incredible," Costello said. "Years back, I didn't think this would turn into reality.
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"It's been a crazy experience so far, with the first couple schools, including Florida State, jumping on me early. Others have been getting in on me and I've been researching a lot. Interest with USC picked up and it's definitely a dream school. There's a lot of them across the country, but I've been a fan my whole life."
For Costello, the No. 3-rated pro-style quarterback in the 2016 class, the list of schools has been growing almost weekly. It has been ever changing, too, and the Trojans have certainly stirred things up heading into the start of his junior season.
"Things change every day. Emotions are flowing left and right with this school and that school, but this is definitely a huge offer for me," Costello said. "Now I have to sit back and not make an emotional decision. I need to do my research and take a closer look at a couple things."
Sorting though future depth charts is undoubtedly at the top of Costello's to-do list. He knows the Trojans are set to bring in highly coveted quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Ricky Town in the 2015 class, but he said that won't be too big of a concern.
"I have to see how things play out," Costello said. "I'm just not sure where that 2015 class goes, and as of right now I still have some research to do in that part. But the class ahead of me is not what I'm looking at, really. At colleges, it's almost always about beating out juniors and seniors for starting jobs."
Though Costello's mother is a USC alumna, the 6-foot-4, 218-pound prospect said he feels no added pressure at home.
"My mom, I don't think she's ever been happier," Costello said. "But she understands the pressure that has been put on me and she won't add any extra pressure to that. Ultimately she wants me to make a decision that will be best for me. She wouldn't mind me staying close to home and going to USC, but she's been really respectable throughout this process."
Despite the longtime fandom, the Trojans have some competition from a few other schools.
"I have kind of a top five, but it changes each and every day," Costello said. "Alabama blew my mind when I was up there earlier this summer. That place was great and it's definitely something that jumped high on my list. Stanford has been an early favorite and the education really jumps out at me. Michigan and Florida State also stand out, along with USC.
"I've thought about it week by week and things change all the time. I was thinking about making a choice before my senior year but the recruiting process is so accelerated now that if you know, you know. That was before everything blew up. The process is definitely speeding up and now that I have offers from most of the schools I'm interested in, it's all about that gut feeling."
Blair Angulo covers the West region and USC for Rivals. Click here to follow him on Twiiter.