Steve Stipanovich, 7 fect, 240 pounds and one of the nation's most-hounded prep basketball seniors, up and declared for "Coach Norm Stewart and his Missouri Tigers" yesterday. Stipanovich, who led his DeSmet H.S. team of St. Louis to 60 straight victories, two state titles, will be accompanied by another home-state blue-chipper and buddy, guard John Sunvold (32 ppg) of Blue Springs... Southern Methodist, its Mustang Mania campaign accelerating, confirms it landed Texas high school football's "1978 Billy Sims" -- 6-3, 205 Eric Dickerson of Sealy, Parade mag's pick as nation's best prep ball carrier. Plus RB Craig James (state record 2,411 yards in one season, 35 TDs, 42-yard punter) of Houston Stratford. Plus -- how can a guy with a name like this miss in Lone Star country -- New Mexico's back of the year, quarterback Layne Walker of Clovis. Bobby! Doak!... Russ Potts!

At Pitt, they point out that Coach Jackie Sherrill has a builtin recruiting advantage with a private pilot's license that he has used to barnstorm many a prospect -- but landed a gold-chipper right there in Pittsburgh. This is quarterback Daniel Marino of Central Catholic, termed most-sought-after from western Pennsy since Tony Dorsett...

No rest for the weary. The Touchdown Club has, via the annual past presidents dinner, got 1978 prez John Gourley crackin' again by naming him chairman of the 45th annual TD Club Awards Dinner next January.

A report from San Jose says USC is set to beat UCLA (for once) and name a basketball coach today: ex-Trojan assistant Stan Morrison, who recently quit after seven years as U. of Pacific head coach (100-88).