Sitting on a bench in the family garage in Temecula with his mother to his left and his younger brother to his right, Su'a Cravens of Vista Murrieta High pulled out a USC hat from a bag and told a small gathering of media, family and friends that he would play football for the Trojans.
Cravens, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior safety, doesn't turn 17 until next month but he is considered the No. 1 high school football prospect in California from the class of 2013.
"I felt real comfortable there," Cravens said of USC. "I felt like I was home. I've been there 100 times and feel they have a clear-cut plan for me."
He chose to make his college announcement on his mother Crystal's birthday. But he also said he wanted to stop the barrage of questions and phone calls that come with being a top football prospect.
"It got to the point my dad was shoveling bucket loads of mail into my room," he said. "My coaches were telling me, 'This guy wants to talk to you.' It got to the point where I couldn't answer my phone without it being some type of reporter. There's no complaints, but it got tiring, got overwhelming and I wanted to end it."
Nothing is official, though, until February, when he can sign scholarship papers. And Cravens left the door ajar, making it clear that he'd be interested in taking official visits to his runner-up choices, Michigan and Ohio State.
"I still want to see those schools," he said. "I don't think I'll change my mind. I'm not the kind of guy who will de-commit."
USC Coach Lane Kiffin is prohibited from talking about Cravens or any other recruit until they have officially signed, but he probably won't rest easy until it happens. After all, a couple of years ago USC had a long-standing commitment from former Crenshaw High running back De'Anthony Thomas — until he made a last-minute switch to sign with Oregon.
On Wednesday, Cravens seemed very content with USC. He tweeted: "We are the men of Troy. USC swaggg. Glad to join the fam!"