Stanford football set aside this past weekend for its 2013 recruiting efforts, hosting 13 of its prospects for a tour of Stanford and surrounding Silicon Valley. Recruits mingled with former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, dined at a pair of quality Palo Alto restaurants (Pampas Brazilian Steakhouse and MacArthur Park) and toured EA Sports' Redwood City headquarters to complement coaches' meetings and bonding time with fellow players.
The Big Visit notched a Stanford victory over Cal: it netted one immediate verbal commitment from De La Salle tight end Austin Hooper. It also helped the Cardinal come close to another pledge, this one from offensive lineman Thomas Oser. A source has told The Bootleg that the Harvard-Westlake product is very close to committing, though he does still have an official visit to Vanderbilt scheduled for the weekend of January 25. It's possible that Oser is waiting to take that visit before he officially announces his college intentions.
Sit Tight for Smythe
Stanford's final uncommitted tight end prospect Durham Smythe, the sixth-rated player nationally at his position, enjoyed his experience. He was hosted by Cardinal freshman wide receiver Conner Crane, a fellow Texan.
"It was awesome," Smythe said. "I got to meet a lot of good guys and hang out with some I'd previously known. I also got to take my second picture with [Condoleezza Rice]."
Rice, who frequently speaks to Stanford prospects, talked to the recruits about her passion for the university and for the game of football.
"She said she loved Stanford so much that she came back from D.C. to be an undergrad professor," Smythe said. "That was cool."
The 6-foot-6 tight end is scheduled to visit Oregon next week and Michigan the weekend after. He said that his college decision should come relatively soon after those two trips. Cardinal linebacker commit Sean Barton, who spent perhaps the most time with Smythe during this weekend's visit, told The Bootleg that he is confident his new Texan friend will commit to The Farm.
"The visit was great," Barton said. "We're going to win a lot. Lots of hard working and incredibly talented kids in 2013."
If Smythe does decide on Stanford, David Shaw will have netted four tight ends in a recruiting class expected to be only about 14 players large, possibly exceeding 2009's now-legendary four-tight end haul that featured Zach Ertz, Levine Toilolo, Ryan Hewitt, and Jordan Najvar. Jim Harbaugh signed 22 total players in that relatively large recruiting class, though, so 2013's tight end percentage can be potentially staggering.
Allen Awaits Admissions; Commits Accepted
The wide receiver position is another spot of need for Stanford, and uncommitted Brophy Prep dual sport track star Devon Allen -- one of the country's fastest recruits -- was among the weekend's visitors. Allen's father told The Bootleg that his son is waiting to hear if he's been admitted to Stanford, a decision which is expected to come "maybe as soon as a couple of weeks."
Meanwhile, The Bootleg believes all of Stanford's current verbal commits have been academically accepted into the university. Ten of those 11 players toured campus this weekend. The eleventh, Atlanta tight end Greg Taboada, rescheduled his visit to next weekend to accommodate two high school basketball games. Taboada, who committed to Stanford over Alabama, will instead enjoy life as Stanford's guest next weekend.
"It was an awesome trip," four-star wide receiver pledge Francis Owusu said.
Jordan Cunningham: Decision Date Set
One receiver recruit of interest did not visit this weekend. Four-star Florida Under Armour All-American Jordan Cunningham already took his official visit to Stanford in early November and still has one remaining trip to Vanderbilt scheduled for next weekend. In a Sunday conversation with The Bootleg, Cunningham expressed enthusiasm about the Cardinal's desire to strengthen its offensive perimeter and announced he will broadcast his final decision on February 6 National Signing Day in front of ESPN television cameras.
Complete List of Visitors
QB Ryan Burns
WR Francis Owusu
LB Peter Kalambayi
TE Eric Cotton
LB Sean Barton
LB Kevin Palma
WR Taijuan Thomas
DE Mike Tyler
G Dave Bright
TE Austin Hooper
WR Devon Allen
TE Durham Smythe
OL Thomas Oser
David Lombardi is the Stanford Football Insider for The Bootleg and FOX Sports Next. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMLombardi.
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