Kameron Huddleston was preparing to attend Merced College.
Schools like Utah State, Sacramento State and Arizona State told the Merced High defensive lineman -- who stands 6-feet -- that he was too small.
Huddleston felt his only way to play football at a four-year school was going the junior college route.
Then he received a call from Flagstaff, Ariz., earlier this week.
And suddenly his plans changed. Huddleston is headed to Northern Arizona University.
The Central California Conference lineman of the year jumped at the chance when the NCAA Division I-AA school offered him a scholarship.
He'll sign his binding letter of intent in the next few days.
"It's crazy," Huddleston said. "I don't even know how to describe it. I wasn't expecting it.
"Now I'm ready and excited."
It was actually a call made to NAU by Arizona State assistant Jaime Christian that led to Huddleston's opportunity.
Arizona State didn't have any scholarships left to offer, so Christian tipped Northern Arizona about the Merced defensive end.
Next, the Lumberjacks coaching staff got in touch with Merced coach Rob Scheidt.
"What made it easier for Kameron is that he's a qualifier," Schiedt said, referring to Huddleston's academic credentials. "It was just a matter of shopping him around.
"We know he can play. He was all-section, all-area, all-district and he was the lineman of the year in our conference."
Huddleston led Merced with 11 sacks and racked up 52 tackles as a senior.
"I have no clue how this happened," Huddleston said. "Coach kept telling me they were calling about me.
"I was sitting at home, minding my own business when their coach called. I didn't even recognize the number on my phone.
"He asked if I wanted to be Lumberjack. I said yes. We talked for about 10 minutes."