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June 21, 2008The University of Southern California has extended an official scholarship offer to San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic fullback Tyler Gaffney.
Scheduled to attend the Rising Stars Camp on June 25, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound fullback will arrive on campus with a scholarship in hand and not one, but two Trojan teams to check out.
"I talked to coach (Pete) Carroll and he asked me how I would feel about going (to USC) and so I told him, and then he said, 'well, I want you to know that we're offering you a full ride'," Gaffney, who rushed for 1,552 yards and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore, said. "That was it; I was shocked at the time. I couldn't even be excited because I was so shocked.
"I asked myself, 'did this really just happen?'
"It's great; it's kind of what you wish for in football when a powerhouse school offers you. I felt like it was a justification that my hard work had paid off."
Gaffney is also an accomplished baseball player, who plans on playing both sports at the next level. He will split his time between both teams during his visit on the 25th.
"I've been there twice, but I haven't really got to see the full campus yet," Gaffney, who plays right field and bats clean-up, said about USC. "They said they'll take me around campus when I'm there because I'm touring it with the baseball coaches.
"I'm definitely going to do both wherever I end up, it's my main priority.
"I'm going to look at (campus) like I could be here, and I could enjoy this part or that part every day."
While the trip will be about visiting the campus, Gaffney plans on participating in the camp.
"I can go there with the feeling of nothing to prove, but I know when I step on the field I'm going to feel like I have to do better than the person standing next to me," he said. "Whenever I know that there's someone out there better than me, I get this drive to get to that level and surpass them."
Gaffney is being recruited to play fullback, a position that he believes would lead him onto the field much earlier at USC than as a halfback.
"I like that more," he said about playing fullback. "Every year USC brings in the top backs, and even though I love competition, I want to play as much as I can.
"And I'd rather play a lot as a fullback than split my time at half-back. I really like how they use Stanley Havili."
This latest offer, coupled with his offers from Stanford, UCLA and Utah, makes things a little more complicated for the senior-to-be.
"(USC) is definitely in the top three," Gaffney said. "When I was growing up I always liked to watch Reggie Bush, he was my guy.
"I haven't thought about it enough, but they're right up there.
Gaffney said that he would prefer to stay on the West Coast, but he wouldn't hesitate to go anywhere in the country if he felt it was the perfect fit. While the 'where' is still undecided, Gaffney knows when he will make his decision.
"I want to do it right after the football season, so that the season is more about the team and less about where I'm going to school."
This coming Wednesday should go a long way towards helping Gaffney find that 'perfect situation.'
USCFootball.com will continue to bring you the latest on Tyler Gaffney as he prepares for the Rising Stars Camp Wednesday.
For the inside scoop on what is going on with Trojan recruiting make sure you read The Peristyle!
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