2014 Illinois (Bolingbrook) cornerback Parrker Westphal is a top
prospect, no matter one’s metric of choice.
Scout gives him four stars and dubs him the No. 9 cornerback in
the nation, and other services largely concur, with Westphal
averaging out as a top-100 prospect nationally.
The offers back up the services’ evaluations. Listed at exactly
six feet and 175 pounds, Westphal reports some 20 offers, with
Florida on that list alongside virtually every Midwest power, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin among them.
“Schools stop in every day to pull me out of class for a few
minutes,” Westphal said. “Then I talk to coaches, and then there’s
interviews after school and practice, but it’s nothing I can’t
From a Stanford fan’s perspective, the good news is that Westphal
has serious interest in the Cardinal.
“It’s a prestigious school that’s always ranked high
academically,” he said. “I think I saw a world report that ranked
them in the top five in the world. They’re also starting to be a
powerhouse in football, winning the Rose Bowl. They’ve produced
great DBs, like Richard Sherman. And then I saw a video of the
secondary last year, and they were killing it.”
Stanford has visited several times, per Westphal’s account, but a
“I honestly have no clue,” he said of the latest on Stanford’s
recruitment. “They visited three times within two weeks, but then
a few questions popped up. They don’t accept early grads, but it
wasn’t set in stone [that I graduate early]. Then they want me to
come out to camp and get an offer. So far, I have no clue. So they
say they’re interested, but then ask the tough questions.”
Thus, we’ve reached the paradox. Per Westphal, Stanford doesn’t
want to offer until they see him on campus, in part to confirm his
interest and in part to ensure he is a good fit on the gridiron.
Yet Westphal doesn’t want to visit a school that has yet to offer,
and further, is upset by Stanford’s extra scrutiny given that 20
other schools have proffered.
He reports a 4.3 GPA and an ACT score that would not derail his
recruitment, though Stanford may ask for a retake.
“I’d have to take two AP classes next year and I’m already taking
AP physics next year, so that’s no big deal,” he said.
Obviously there are two sides to any story and, in this instance,
NCAA rules prevent a reporter from a recruiting website from
contacting Stanford coaches to obtain their input. Thus, The
Bootleg is left with Westphal’s perspective, which is that the
Cardinal have not reciprocated the interest of a player who is
seriously considering Stanford, admissible and quite talented to
“They said they were going to offer but they haven’t offered,” he
said. “It’s been a top school I’m considering, but there’s always
been something that came up. I was real interested but then [came]
all the red flags.”
Westphal adds that while he has contact with tight ends coach
Morgan Turner and a Stanford linebacker coach came to watch his
track meet last week, Westphal has yet to speak to a defensive
backs coach. While Stanford has no coach so designated, defensive
coordinator Derek Mason was Stanford’s DB coach before the
promotion, and still retains many of those same position group
Westphal reports Stanford is still trying to get him to visit,
but he’s noncommittal at the moment.
“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I’ve only been visiting schools I
have offers from.”
Westphal would like to make a decision soon, but is prioritizing
making the right decision over a timeline. As such, there does
appear to be enough time for the Cardinal and the DB to iron out
their differences, if that’s the path this recruitment takes.
“I’d like to make a commitment before the season starts and get
it out of the way, but I’m going to make a decision when it feels
right and I’m comfortable, because I don’t want to regret it,” he
This offseason, Westphal is working on footwork, speed and
technique, especially in press coverage. He works out with his DB
coach Mondays and Wednesdays, and concentrates on footwork and
technique on Thursdays.
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