Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon receiver Kenny Stills is one reason why the class of 2010 in the West is considered one of its strongest in years.
The 6-2, 170-pound Stills, who received his first scholarship offer last week, is on the brink of exploding before his junior year even concludes.
“I got my first offer from Boise State last Wednesday and I had been communicating with them back and forth,” said Stills. “I went to their camp over the summer the last two summers, and it was more of a camp to have fun, and that’s what I was going there for. But I guess it kind of showed what kind of player I am, and being myself, I got to know the coaches real well, and we have a great relationship. So they offered me.”
Boise State wasn’t the only place he visited during the summer.
“I also went to Oregon, and that was more of acamp,” said Stills. “It was kind of one of those things that was huge for me because I wanted to see what I could do at a Pac-10 school. I accomplished what I was going out there for and was named Receiver of the Camp.”
The Boise State offer was a relief for Stills, knowing that he actually has a D-1 offer, but he’s hoping for plenty more.
“In a way, it was confirming that I know I can play at the college level. But I’d be more comfortable if I had more offers, especially from BCS schools,” said Stills.
That said, there are plenty of BCS schools who’ve been in regular contact with him.
He said: I’ve talked to mostly all of the Pac-10 schools and it’s mostly the Pac-10 that I talk to and relate back and forth with. My father went to Wisconsin, and he talks to them and Penn State too. Vanderbilt, Auburn, Alabama, I’ve been sending my stuff to them and hopefully they come around.”
When asked which Pac-10 schools are indeed the ones he stays in contac with, Stills elaborated. “UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, those are the main schools I’m hearing from,” said Stills. “Obviously, anyone would love to go to SC, too, but I haven’t heard from them as much. I get a lot of mail from UCLA and one of their coaches, he was down to watch the game. One of my coaches played at UCLA, too (former tight end J.J. Hair), and I know the Rauschers (Phil Rauscher is a UCLA graduate assistant, and his brother, Glenn, a walk-on tight end, both La Costa Canyon alums).”
Stills also is close friends with fellow San Diego native and current UCLA freshman Nelson Rosario.
“One of my best buddies goes to UCLA, Nelson Rosario,” said Stills. “It’s good to have someone who’s been through the whole situation and he’s always been cool for me to talk to.”
With a flurry of schools showing interest, Stills said he’s nowhere near ready to begin narrowing down his schools of interest. “ I definitely don’t have any schools in the lead,” said Stills. “To be honest, I have no idea. A lot of people ask me that, who I like, who is my favorite. But for me, it’s where I feel the most comfortable, and hopefully I have that opportunity to find that place.”
Still, he doesn’t plan to drag it out too long. “I hope to make my decision during the summer, but like I said, if I don’t feel comfortable with everything that is going on, or how things play out for it, I’ll take more time,” said Stills.
Stills is one of many recruits from San Diego that have received scholarship offers, and he’s friends with several of those prospects.
“It was definitely a big relief to get that offer, (2010 running back) Ricky Seale and (2009 receiver) James Johnson, I know they have their offers so I know it’s all a big waiting process,” said Stills. “But I’m excited to see whatever else comes around. I love everything about the Boise State program. If that’s all that comes around for me, that’s a great opportunity still.”
At 6-2, 170, Stills said he’s hopeful he can add more weight for the transition to college. “It’s been hard for me to put on weight,” said Stills. “I live hard and eat hard. I’d like to get maybe another inch and get up to 180-185. The way I’ve been putting on weight, I’m pretty sure I’ll get the weight.”
He’s also continuing to work on his explosiveness. “I’ve been at 4.5 flat (in the 40) the last two years in a row so I’m working hard to get under that 4.5,” said Stills. “I improved big time with my vertical and shuttle. I’m doing three sports so by the time you get to camp and combine season, my legs are tired. But I’m going to try and get under that 4. 5 range.”
Stills plays three sports in high school -- football, basketball and track -- and this year will attempt to add Lacrosse to the list.
This season, Stills has been the Mavericks’ leading receiver with 47 catches for 962 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Academically, Still has a 3.2 GPA and will take the SAT in the spring, after the season.
“My parents don’t let it get under 3.0. And I’m excited to take those tests in the spring, because I’m in SAT prep classes right now,” said Stills.