It was all so orderly and clear. Chike Amajoyi took his official visits
to his two finalists the past two weekends: Washington (January 5) and Stanford
(January 12). Fresh off his weekend at The Farm, the San Bernardino
(Calif.) Aquinas High School senior learned Monday that his admissions
application had been accepted at Stanford, paving the way for his final
deliberations and college decision. Washington linebackers coach Chris
Tormey was to visit Amajoyi at his home Wednesday, with Stanford running backs
coach Willie Taggart in the home Thursday. Soon thereafter - i.e. today -
the three-star running back/linebacker would make a commitment.
On this Friday evening, we have checked with Amajoyi and have found that there is just
"I don't think I'm going to make the decision this weekend," he explains.
I did talk with Coach Tormey, the linebackers coach from Washington, on
Wednesday. But on Thursday I had a basketball game, so Coach Taggart
wasn't allowed to see me. I don't think coaches are allowed to talk with
players when they have a game. He came by and spoke with my parents."
"Now Coach [Jim] Harbaugh is scheduled to come in on Monday. I'll get
to talk with him," Amajoyi continues. "I wanted to let a coach from each
school come and have a final say with me before I made my final decision."
Following the in-home visit of Stanford's new head coach, Amajoyi says he
expects to have a decision that night or Tuesday. In the meantime, his
thought process is fast approaching its conclusion. The Huskies made their
final pitch, and the Cardinal spent 48 hours with him last weekend.
"I can't say that I'm really leaning toward either. I really like both
schools," Amajoyi maintains. "The coach staff at Washington is excellent.
They're a great group of people. Everyone is very welcoming there and
enthusiastic about the next season. Coach Tyrone Willingham is just a
great coach with a great history, and everyone knows what he is capable of doing
with a team. As far as Washington goes, the coaching staff and the people
are great there."
"Stanford, academically, it's really hard to beat them. I looked them
up, and they're the number four university in the nation," he says.
"Stanford is really enthusiastic with the new coaching staff. Going on my
official visit this weekend, it was a beautiful campus. All of the players
are great. I got to meet with some professors, and they were all
enthusiastic and helpful with everything. Everyone seems like they are
going to try and do their best to keep a balance between academics and
athletics, and that's what I really look for in a school."
Amajoyi sees one final piece to the puzzle that can be helped with Harbaugh
visiting his home on Monday.
"It's getting to talk to him a little bit more," the San Bernardino standout
says. "When you are going away to play college football, there is a trust
issue there because you are moving away from home. The coaches that you
are with are going to be like your fathers at school because you spend so much
time with you and the team. They are pretty much going to be deciding what
you do with a lot of your team."
"Basically it's getting to talk to him a little more and getting his point of
view and how he feels the future of Stanford is going to be. That's really
important," Amajoyi adds. "My family and I know where Coach Willingham is
coming from. We have talked with him a few times and met him in person a
few times. He came down to my house already early in the season.
We're all comfortable with him and how he works. It's just a matter of
comparing Coach Willingham and Coach Harbaugh and then comparing both schools
academically before I can make my decision."
There you have it. It is Harbaugh versus Willingham, the new Cardinal
head coach versus the former, to break the deadlock between the two finalists
for Scout.com's #45-ranked running back in the nation.
"Academically, Stanford - you really can't beat it. Besides the Ivy
League schools, Stanford is the best school in the nation. You really
can't beat them academically. That's the most important thing to me,"
Amajoyi articulates. "Then there is the new coach aspect. Finally
getting to meet with Coach Harbaugh one-on-one in my house, getting to speak
with him and getting a feel for him - that could either take Stanford over the
top or put Washington over the top if I'm not relating to Coach Harbaugh well."
For one of these two Pac-10 programs, the recruiting stay of execution is
extended another 72 hours. Stay tuned early next week for the highly
anticipated final decision of Chike Amajoyi between Stanford and Washington.
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