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USC Football Recruiting

USC Official Visit "Mind Blowing" for Elite 4-Star WR Shazz Preston & Family

June 6, 2021
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With the dead period being lifted, prospects from around the country are now able to visit college campuses. This weekend, USC hosted a few prospects, including Elite 4-Star St. James (LA) WR Shazz Preston‍. 

Scott Schrader caught up with the talented wideout’s father, Shawn, to talk about his recent trip to Los Angeles.

Q&A With Scott Schrader

SS: From your perspective, what were you going into the visit to USC, looking to get out of it?

SP: Familiarity, comfortability of being away from home by about 4 hours. I didn’t really know a lot about the staff, new names, never really followed them too close. Kind of followed Graham Harrell a little bit from Texas Tech, remembered Coach Colbert from him playing with the Panthers. Didn’t know a whole lot about Coach Helton and the rest of the staff to be honest.

SS: Was Jeff Martin, your point of contact did to go out and check out USC?

SP: Yes, he was the key and he is the reason why we came out and we had a relationship with him at USC. His comment was that you guys need to come out and see this. He said, “From another Louisiana guy, he said you need to come and see this. Once I come and get you here, you will understand.” I trusted his words and we did so.

SS: So what were your impressions after 48 hours and have been able to take in from this visit?

SP: It’s mind-blowing, to tell you the truth. You can feel the tradition as soon as you hit campus. I don’t know too much about Coach Helton’s past, the staff, but the crew that he has right now did a tremendous job making us feel comfortable. Just down to earth, but very knowledgeable about the game in their own skin. That goes a long way, we weren’t around a bunch of robots and people who were stiff and uptight. They allowed themselves to be themselves within their position and it allowed us to be more comfortable to bring it all in. They did an awesome job, from the time they picked us up to the time they dropped us off.

SS: What did you get to do on this visit? Some of the things they got to see and do?

SP: Too much eating, first of all. The first thing is when we got downtown, the Laker game was just about to be over so we got a chance to mingle among the angry Laker fans out of Staples Center, which was kind of neat. We had never been to the LA Live area, so we got to witness that. The next day, we did go out to SoFi Field for dinner, which was very neat. They rented it out, we were the only ones in the building. Last night, we went to a steakhouse on Santa Monica Pier, we just went to the Long Beach area for breakfast this morning on a beach house.

We did some sightseeing, we got a chance to ride around with Gavin Morris, who was our host. He’s a bright, different kind of guy. Gavin hosted us for most of the weekend, and he brought us out to do some places Shazz wanted to see like Nipsey Hussle's Marathon Store, going through some of the neighborhoods and seeing movie scene houses. Coach Colbert brought us touring around Hollywood Boulevard, around the Hollywood sign. Those are some things that stood out outside of the football field. It was neat.

SS: Anything with the school, the NIL stuff that stood out?

SP: Yes, that is something they are going to have an upper hand on a lot of schools just because of where the institution is located. They’re located in the mecca of the country when it comes to fame, spotlight. Coach BC(Bryan Carrington), man, he did an awesome presentation about it. BC, and one other coach, that's what they do. They put together an awesome presentation about how USC is going to be on the cunning edge of the NIL waters. Coach BC, lives it, because he has a wife that is a very famous YouTuber. He was able to show real life, “that’s my wife.” They did an awesome job with that.

SS: So you guys did this visit, and USC knows they have a big fight on their hands to get you to visit from the side of the country. Did they do enough of a job to make it for serious consideration, where you might even come back sometime?

SP: I would say yes. I know my kid, part of my job on these visits is to observe him. He was really comfortable, had a blast. This is what June is about for us, so he can experience the schools he is interested in and make a solid decision moving forward. I would say they are in the game for sure. Coach Harrell is a Leach disciple, you get to see that type of throwing and passing, on a weekly basis with them. USC is moving more and more to throwing the ball around, you got 3 and 4 receivers who are almost at 1,000 yards. They are still implementing the philosophy. We got a chance to meet the stud quarterback and the new stud (Jaxson Dart) that came in too.

SS: What is your schedule for the month of June?

SP: Tuesday, Wednesday, we are going out to Clemson(unofficial) and Georgia(unofficial). Then at the end of the week, we are going to the Under Armour camp at IMG. The following week, are going to unofficial to LSU and then that weekend, take an official to Texas. Then when we get back, the third week, we are taking an unofficial to Alabama. I told Shazz, you deserve this after years of work.

This is a blessing that you get to visit and then make a decision. Some of the kids the year before didn’t get to visit.

 
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