Vaughn Telemaque, the 6-foot-2, 187-pound four-star safety from Poly High School in Long Beach, Calif., has narrowed his choices to four schools with three having a solid advantage. Telemaque said he now favors USC, Oregon and North Carolina clearly over Miami and admits that USC is his top choice by a small margin.
"USC has the close-to-home thing," Telemaque said. "It's really why they have a lead right now. I'm really comfortable there and know a lot of guys on the team already. Long Beach Poly has sent a bunch of players to USC and it's really like the hometown team. A lot of my friends and family would like it if I went there.
"The only question I have with USC is how quickly I'd be able to play and how I'd fit into the defense," he said. "I don't plan to go and sit. They said they give everyone a chance and that it's really important to come in, do your homework and know the playbook. I know that spots could open up, so I just need to talk to them more about that.
"Also they took a long time to offer me and I had to think about other schools because I wasn't sure they'd ever offer," said Scout.com's No. 7 safety who was recently named to the top 100 national team. "During that time I really started liking other programs too. That's really why I have North Carolina up there. They were the first school to offer me and recruited me the hardest the whole time.
"The (North Carolina) coaches gave me the whole rebuilding speech and I was there (on an official visit, Oct. 6) when they beat Miami and they seem for real. They talked about how important I'd be on the defense and how much I could help them."
Telemaque has also already visited Oregon (Nov. 3) and Michigan (Nov. 17), but says he's no longer considering the Wolverines. "I haven't heard from anyone there since the whole coaching staff was fired," he said. "I don't really plan to look at teams that aren't interested in me."
The final visit that Telemaque will be taking will be to Miami on Jan. 18. "They are still an option," he said. "I plan to take my visit and see how big of a deal the distance is gonna be and if I could fit in there."
He says he plans to make his decision shortly after his Miami visit. "I really enjoyed the recruiting process, but it's been long enough and I feel like I'm ready to move onto the next level.
"I'd like to make my announcement on Fox Sports West and have a press conference or something," he said. "Me and Jurrell Casey (defensive tackle for Long Beach Poly who has been favoring USC for some time) plan to make our announcements together. We talk about it a lot and he seems to be pretty set but I'm not gonna say who it is. I don't want to ruin it for him. I just know he makes fun of me for taking so long. I didn't realize it would be so hard, but it's an important decision and I want to make sure I'm happy with it for the next four years.
"I think it'll all be about playing time and being comfortable," he said. "I need to fit in with the coaches and the players."
The latest school to start recruiting Telemaque is LSU, but the Tigers haven't offered. "They called me for the first time this month and have been showing some interest," he said. "I'm interested to see what's gonna happen with them."
Telemaque reports a 2.7 core GPA, and an 810 SAT/18 ACT. He plans to retake the SAT, but hasn't set a date yet. "I believe I'm already qualified, but I'm gonna take the test again. I don't want to take any chances, but I think I'm good."