Five-star defensive end Everson Griffen (6-4, 265, 4.55), from Agua Fria Union High School in Avondale, Ariz., has reduced his favorites to USC, Notre Dame and Michigan. Oklahoma, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA will not be a winner here.
"I'm very blessed," Griffen said. "I've worked really hard and it has paid off. My decision will be based on the coaches and where I feel most comfortable. I don't want to wake up and say I should have done this or that…I want to think of my school as my home. It will be my home for the next few years.
"I'm an easy guy to get along with and I get along easily with others. The recruiting process was fun at first, but now I just don't want to deal with it anymore. The coaches call all the time. Sometimes I pick up the phone and sometimes I don't. I'm not playing hard to get, I just don't want to deal with it any more.
"I like Notre Dame for the small town atmosphere," said Scout.com's No. 1 defensive end. "You could easily get to know everyone. Coach Charlie Weis and his staff are amazing. They have great relationships with all their players.
"I really like Coach Ron English (defensive coordinator/safeties) at Michigan. He's a good person to stay in touch with all through life. He's the kind of guy who will keep you on the right road. I was very impressed with their facilities when I took my official visit on October 27. They must have one of the best facilities in the country.
"USC was the first school to offer. I would say that they are recruiting me the hardest. I just had an in-home visit on December 8 with coaches Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin (offensive coordinator/wide receivers) and Nick Holt (defensive coordinator). I love these coaches. I took my official visit on November 25 and was very impressed with their training. To warm up, they have this program where the players jump up and down. It's different, yet fun.
"I know what college I am going to commit to. I'm keeping it a secret until Wednesday (December 20). I'll be announcing my choice at school. Channel 12 is going to be there with a few of the local newspapers.
"My parents already know and are pleased with my decision. I've also already notified the coaches of the school where I will be attending. I'm positive I've made the best choice and I feel good about it. I'm looking forward to letting everyone know and being done with this process."
Final senior (12-1) stats: 77 tackles/16 sacks; 159 carries for 1250 yds/22 TDs.
Griffen reports a 3.3 core GPA and a 1020 SAT score (new version)--"I'm qualified."