- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
Wide receiver Paul Elvira (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos De Niza) has been on plenty of radars after catching 48 passes for 774 yards and eight touchdowns last season. The Marcos De Niza campus buzzed with college coaches this spring, as Elvira, safety Priest Willis and athlete Mauriece Lee were a trio to watch. But after all the interest Elvira received during the evaluation process, it wasn't until after the spring period ended that he was able to grab his first scholarship offer.
This past weekend, Elvira traveled to Arizona for the Wildcats' 7-on-7 tournament and walked away with scholarship offer number one.
"It's definitely a blessing to have that first offer, especially from Arizona," Elvira said. "I was happy to get it. That was my goal going down there."
The 6-foot, 177-pound receiver said working without an offer for so long pushed him to improve every day. He prepared himself for the camp circuit by training six days a week after the season. It certainly paid off this Sunday, as he was brought into the head coach's office after the camp.
"Coach [Rich] Rodriguez pulled me into the office, sat me down and said, 'Scholarships aren't just given out like lottery tickets. You have to earn them.' Then he said he wanted to offer me a full ride to U of A," Elvira said.
The offer is especially sweet for Elvira, as it comes from the hometown school and a childhood favorite. He said his entire family is "diehard Arizona fans" and he has been around Wildcats football ever since he was little.
"For them to be the first offer is great," Elvira said. "I'm still going to be open with the process and soak it all up, but Arizona has always been a school I've liked."
With the first one in, Elvira said he is preparing for more news to come. Plenty of schools have given him the impression that once one program steps forward, others will follow.
"All of them said how close they were [to offering], but they were waiting for someone to go first," Elvira said. "Now I'm just waiting to see what's going to happen."