As active as the search for Stanford's next coach, so too is there feverish
activity surrounding the current crop of Cardinal recruits. Signing Day is
just nine weeks away, and Stanford on paper has a huge class to fill. To
do so with quality and impact recruits would have been already challenging on
the heels of a 1-11 season, but the situation was further muddied by the firing
of Stanford head coach Walt Harris. We quickly contacted the Cardinal's
top commit in this 2007 class, quarterback/safety Kellen Killsgaard. Just
a few hours after we published that piece, we heard from 6'7" offensive tackle
George Halamandaris, who was Stanford's first '07 pledge back in May.
"I just wanted to say that I'm still solid," Halamandaris says. "I
think Stanford is the right place for me. I'm a winner. Winning is
very important to me, and obviously it is very important to Mr. [Bob] Bowlsby as
The Moorpark (Calif.) High School senior talked with both recruiting
coordinator Nate Nelson and athletic director Bob Bowlsby on Monday. The
former assured Halamandaris that Stanford was still committed to him, while the
latter delivered a broader message.
"He said basically that in the last few weeks, he felt we had good prospects
but not a good program," the recruit recalls from his conversation with Bowlsby.
"And that he felt that Stanford can't claim the best athletics in the country
without a good football team."
Halamandaris was particularly fired up after reading the comments from his
future quarterback in Kiilsgaard, who not only stood firm with his Stanford
commitment. Kiilsgaard also announced that he was taking unofficial visits
to Stanford on his own dime this weekend and the official visit weekend in
"I think it's refreshing that this class wants to turn things around, like
Kellen going to all the recruiting dates," says Halamandaris. "I want to
start calling guys and encouraging them to join the Cardinal family."
"I hope that this is the start of a new, reborn Stanford program," he
continues. "I am sorry that Coach Harris was shown the way out because he
is a class guy and a great coach. But like I said, I don't think that Mr.
Bowlsby is going to accept losing, and that's something I agree with."
"I'm just refreshed that Stanford is still committed to me because before
that call, I honestly began to realize there is nowhere else for me.
Stanford is the right place. It's the only place," Halamandaris asserts.
Stanford won't be the place where Halamandaris spends his upcoming weekend.
He could have taken this official visit to The Farm, but his Musketeers have a
date with the CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship game.
Moorpark was expected to have a tough battle on their hands this past weekend
against a red-hot Newhall (Calif.) Hart team that had just handled Ventura
(Calif.) St. Bonaventure. Halamandaris' team instead hammered Hart, 56-27,
in a rout that started with a 49-0 lead into the third quarter.
"It was a great win. We rolled over them," Halamandaris happily
reports. "It was a big surprise. We're finally operating on all
cylinders, and it's fun."
The final game of Halamandaris' high school career will come this Saturday in
the CIF-SS championship game, played at 4pm at the Home Depot Center against
Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon. The Cowboys clipped Moorpark in the season
opener back in August. Both teams are ranked among the best in the greater
Los Angeles area, making this a highly anticipated showdown.
"Yeah, they're a very good team. They beat us 33-14 back in Week 0.
2008 recruit A.J. Wallerstein goes there," Halamandaris previews. "I think
that the offensive line's going to play a huge role in this game. This
defense is one of the best in Southern California, with a well-coached defensive
"I just hope we play our hearts out, and I'd like nothing more than to leave
with a ring on my finger. That's what I set out to do this season.
That's what I want to accomplish," the titanic tackle continues. "I've had
a great run at Moorpark under a great coach in Coach [Tim] Lins, and it's meant
a lot to my development as a player and as a person."
"But December 10 begins my training to become a Pac-10 lineman," Halamandaris
adds. "I am looking forward to having a big off-season."
The 6'7" 300-pounder who has plowed the way for a 3,000-yard season for
Moorpark's junior superstar running back knows plenty about big, so we'll take
his word on that. First things first, he has a ring to collect, peer
recruits to call and a Stanford official visit to take. We'll check back
with him soon on those items.
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