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November 7, 2013

Still all even with Stanley Johnson




The number three overall player in the country, Stanley Johnson of Santa Ana (Calif.) athletic powerhouse Mater Dei took an official visit to USC on November 1 and 2. He's already very familiar with the school, but he wanted to take an opportunity to remind himself of why USC is one of his top choices.

"I already knew a lot about the school and about the coaching staff but it's helpful to go to the school again," Johnson said. "It helps remind you what's so good about the school and highlights those parts; and, I enjoy that part of visiting campuses."

The visit was about more than seeing the school again. The five-star prospect could visit that campus anytime he wants, but he wanted to have ample time to get used to the school and the new coaches.

"On an unofficial visit, you only have so much time you can take," Johnson said. "You aren't spending the night, you're going home. It gives you an opportunity to sit down with the coaches over and over again. You have more time to sit down and talk because they know you aren't leaving anytime soon. They have a good chance of talking to you more and more comfortably. We had some good long talks and some nice dinners. It also gave me a chance to go through the John McKay center and see the rest of the school in detail."

That decision allowed the USC coaches to have the same opportunity as the other coaches they're competing with.

"I felt the official visit was necessary because they are one of the most important schools on my list," Johnson said. "Talking to the coaches, they felt like they couldn't show me what they needed to show me about the school if I wasn't able to take an official visit. It was an easy decision for me. I got put up for two nights at the Ritz Carlton and everything. I had a good time, and I'm glad I took the official."

The visit didn't do anything to hurt the chances that Johnson will be a Trojan.

"It was good to get another look at the school," Johnson said. "I think it helped USC's stance in my recruitment and solidified them as a top 5 school on my list. I had a great time but every visit is going to be good. I don't think there are many bad visits you can take. You expect that and take it for what it's worth. At the end of the day you have to take all of your officials and compare them to what you think is right."

The Mater Dei forward just needs to finish taking those official visits.

"I just need to see everything," Johnson said. "That's the only thing left. I don't want to make a mistake and not see something. I've found options I can work with, so I'm just trying to see them all and make my choice. I could make three good decisions right now and I don't think I can go wrong. We'll see if Oregon or Florida can top that and maybe I'll go there."

His Florida visit is set for when the Gators host Kansas on December 10. He still hasn't picked a date for his official visit to Oregon. After those two visits, Johnson hopes to have an idea of what he's going to do.

"They're going to have to compete with the other official visits and that's the challenge for them," Johnson said. "It'll help determine if they're a legitimate option for me. The schools that I've visited already have an advantage over the schools I haven't visited because I've seen the campus and I know what the school's about. The other schools have to compete with that and prove their style to me. For me, every school has a chance. I'm pretty open minded, and I've had some great official visits already. It was great to see those, and I'm excited to see the rest of the schools on my list."

So despite what the so-called experts are predicting or saying, Johnson has no idea where he wants to go to school. He knows that after three official visits, everyone is still even.

"Everyone has their ideas of where I'm going but it's all even right now," Johnson said. "If there was a percentage on the schools that I've visited so far, each school would be at 33 percent. If they where the three horses in the race right now, they'd be tied. I've had a good time at every school so far, they're all a good option and I don't feel like I could go wrong right now."

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