Three months ago, I had a one hour interview with a professor in a scholarship. After the interview, she advised me to go to these places: the biology department of Harvard, MIT Media Lab, and Sante Fe. Since then, I have researched about my interest more carefully, and decided that my interest is slightly different. As a result, those places are not my desired destinations (except Santa Fe, but maybe for my postdoc).
I don't intend to follow the fellowship. It has a lot of restrictions. I applied for it just to have the advice after the interview.
But still, being advised to apply to those prestigious schools is an advantage for me. It indicates that I have the ability to study there, with an assurance from a professor. I think that I should show this in my SOP, even when it's just a minor detail. All I want is to optimize all of my available resources I have.
I don't think it's a compliment since after suggesting the schools, the interviewers showed me the weak points of mine. And the words from them should be honest, since it needs to help the fellows to have a good applying strategy. This is stated in the announcement of the fellowship. I think that this professor can be my unofficial recommender. All of my official ones are from my country, so if I have someone from the US, it would help me a lot. I have emailed her to ask her about this, and a reminder, but she doesn't answer.
Should I put it in my SOP? And if yes, how to do this effectively?