There was a suggestion that there could be some controversial news for George Halamandaris, when rival recruiting service Rivals.com wrote in late May that the Moorpark (Calif.) High School offensive tackle was a soft commit for the Cardinal. That story, and Halamandaris' appearance in that service's database, came three weeks after our report of his verbal pledge to Stanford. More importantly, the story and the quotes contained therein were dubiously written without any reporter having spoken with the recruit.
"Whatever," Halamandaris laughs. "Coach [Tom] Freeman said he never looks at that stuff anyway because all the alums just call and tell him."
That fictitious fiasco aside, it has been a non-eventful couple months since Halamandaris made news with his Stanford commitment. A primary order of business has been finishing up his junior year of high school with strong academics and buckling down on his Stanford admissions application. Halamandaris notched a 4.2 GPA for his second semester, raising his cumulative GPA to a 3.967. He also sat down for the June 3 SAT and received those scores just the other week. The SoCal student-athlete notched an 1800 on the standardized test, with some improvements over his previous 1770 composite score.
"My verbal went up 40 points. My writing dropped 20, and math went up 10," Halamandaris reports. "It's alright. I would rather not have dropped on the writing section, but otherwise I doubt I will retake it again.
His new reading and math scores total a 1270 on the old 1600-point scale, with composite 640 and 630 scores, respectively.
"Coach Freeman sent me a text with a congratulations on the improvement," Halamandaris says. "Then Coach [Nate] Nelson and him wrote me a note. Basically they both said congrats, and that it will help out my application."
With his junior year transcript complete and an additional 50 points added to his SAT score, Halamandaris has solid numbers to bolster his admissions profile. The application packet is all that remains, and that is coming to a close.
"I finished part one and the teacher rec's - part three," the recruit reports. "And I'm halfway done with the essay portion. I'm planning on writing another essay today, and hopefully the essays will be done by the end of the week."
Halamandaris hopes to put a wrap on that work as soon as possible, with the peaceful part of his summer about to end. His senior year of football kicks off Monday at 3 P.M. with the beginning of his team's workouts - the start of an unusual preseason schedule for the Musketeers and the senior tackle.
"We have a 'week zero' this year," Halamandaris explains. "Usually, the first week of school we don't have a game. No one does. But this year we scheduled one against Canyon, so everything's pushed back a week."
"We got three weeks off at the beginning of the summer; this was my last week. We just lift an hour each day and do conditioning," he continues. "It's a little different this year. We usually have one week off and then start. Then we have two weeks off before one week of two-a-days. This year we go straight through, and have two weeks of two-a-days."
Despite being "off" the last three weeks, Halamandaris has been hard at work. When we reported on his Cardinal commitment at the beginning of May, he owned max lifts of 300 pounds on the bench press and 350 pounds on the squat. His squat recently maxed at 370, and he says he puts up 315 pounds "easily" on the bench, soon to max again with that lift. Not bad for a jumbo offensive lineman with an 81-inch wingspan.
Speaking of which, Halamandaris just had his annual physical and was measured at 6'6.75" without shoes - affirmation that he is a tall tackle and not listed with an inflated height. He also weighed 302 pounds, slowly but safely filling out his jumbo frame.
With his preseason practices about to begin and his admissions application soon to be sent to Stanford, there will be some interesting activity for George Halamandaris in the next several weeks. We will check back with the Cardinal commit later in the summer for his latest, and hope to soon bring you some highlight clips from his junior season.
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