NCF On The Trail: Stanford Cardinal

Another wild week in Pac-12 

December, 19, 2014
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The Pac-12 and the West region are capable of producing some wild weeks during the lead-up to signing day, with so many prospects in the area waiting until that day to make their commitment and rivals going after so many of the same prospects.

Early Offer: Hokies score super sleeper 

December, 16, 2014
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Once again, Frank Beamer has landed an under-recruited prospect with “unlimited potential.” Plus, how much progress has been made by the committee looking into whether or not there should be an early-signing period?


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

December, 16, 2014
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It was a busy weekend in the Pac-12, with commitments, offers, visits and awards touching nearly every team in the conference, including Stanford, USC and Washington reeling in big commitments and UCLA hosting impact prospects. Here is a look at some of the more impactful events of the past few days, as well as a glimpse of what this week could hold in the Pac-12.


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The addition of No. 1 2016 TE Isaac Nauta shows that the Florida State recruiting machine shows no signs of slowing down. Plus, Tennessee continues to impress with its 2015 defensive class.


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Wisconsin landed a four-star running back on Thursday despite not having a head coach. Plus, Nebraska is already impressing rival recruiters with its effort on trail.


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Tale of the tape: Stanford vs. Cal 

November, 19, 2014
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Heading into the season, the Pac-12 rivalry game likely to be separated by the most distance in the standings was the Big Game. With Stanford looking to challenge for a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff and Cal looking to escape the conference cellar, the fact that these two teams are playing for bowl eligibility this weekend is somewhat surreal. It's a similar story on the recruiting trail as well, as these two programs have the fewest number of verbal commitments in the conference, as Cal holds 12 commitments and Stanford just 10 -- though Stanford holds the edge in ESPN 300 prospects at three to one.

The recruiting rivalry between these two programs is interesting in that they aren't separated by much distance, but don't overlap in their chase for the same prospect as often as you might expect. Stanford -- arguably the most national recruiting program in the country -- has commitments from players from 10 states, while eight of Cal's dozen commits hail from its home state and there might not be a true recruiting battle between these two for any prospect in this class.

Instant impact recruit

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 18, 2014
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With only three Pac-12 games on Saturday, it looked as if it could be a light recruiting weekend in the conference. And while there wasn't much in the way of visitors, Stanford hosted two intriguing unofficial visitors and Sunday brought some significant news in the way of a commitment and a new name for Pac-12 recruiting fans to put on their boards.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 16, 2014
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It was a very light week in the Pac-12, both on the schedule and the visitor lists. But as usual, the three Saturday games in the conference delivered in a big way, with a game-winning field goal, a defensive show that needed overtime and an upset of the No. 6 team in the country. While there weren't any reported official visitors in the conference, a number of unofficial visitors caught the action and shared it via social media.

Stanford's struggles

Stanford's offense continued to struggle this year, as the Cardinal dropped their final home game of the season, in an overtime battle against Utah. Part of the reason for that has been the lack of a dominant ground game -- something the Cardinal are looking to rectify in this recruiting class by loading up at the running back position. In town this weekend on an unofficial visit was ESPN 300 tailback Bryce Love, who has taken official visits to Tennessee and Virginia Tech this season, but has long been a Stanford target.


Stanford also received an unofficial visit from 2016 ESPN 300 wide receiver Brandon Burton, who already holds offers from programs such as Florida, Florida State, Stanford, UCLA and USC.

Oregon State's thriller

Junior quarterback Kevin Davidson has been on several Pac-12 trips this season, visiting Colorado and Washington previously. He picked a good time to take his visit to Oregon State, as he was able to witness the Beavers' thrilling victory against Arizona State.


Also in attendance was 2016 offensive guard Conner Crist, who holds interest from a number of Pac-12 programs.

Arizona stays alive

With a game-winning field goal against Washington, Arizona kept its season going on the right track. Though the Wildcats didn't host any official visitors, there were several recruits on hand for that game. Athlete Brion Anduze, who made the trip down from Washington, likely riled up a few of his friends that are Husky fans with his tweet early last week.


Of course, he also didn't have any problems reminding them of whose side he was on during the game.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 11, 2014
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There wasn't much movement on the Pac-12 recruiting scorecard this weekend, but Utah was able to bounce back from a tough loss to Oregon by scoring a commitment, and Arizona State might have set the stage for one of the conference's stronger runs toward signing day with a big win against Notre Dame. Elsewhere, Stanford is looking to gain some recruiting momentum after some time without a commitment, and several Pac-12 targets are headed out of the area this weekend.


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Kansas State and TCU battle in one of the biggest games of the weekend, and Horned Frog coach Gary Patterson said both teams have been built off a comparable recruiting philosophy. Could landing ESPN 300 Junior recruit Jovanny Garcia start a trend for Minnesota?


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UA jersey tour: Malik Jefferson

November, 4, 2014
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MESQUITE, Texas -- As he sat with his family and his head coach during the Under Armour All-America Game jersey ceremony Tuesday morning, ESPN 300 linebacker Malik Jefferson thought about the road traveled to get to where he is as a football player.

In short, he described it as “a blessing,” and he thought about the people in his life who may have indirectly affected his football career. He thought about his older brother, Tarik Jefferson, a senior linebacker at North Texas.

To be an Under Armour All-American takes sacrifice -- and sacrifice is something Malik said he learned mostly from his big brother. On and off the field.

“He gave me the motivation to work hard,” said Jefferson, the nation’s No. 3 outside linebacker and No. 35 player overall in the 2015 ESPN 300. “I work hard on my own because he wanted to work hard by myself. I remember he would ask me to sit on his back while he did push-ups. He instilled hard work in me and showed me the way. I took notes from Day One. He’s quiet but a hard worker.”


Jefferson the student is now Jefferson the teacher as he prepares for college. At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Jefferson is an absolute playmaker on the field. Few linebackers his size run the 40-yard dash in less than 4.5 seconds. He clocked a 4.39 at The Opening this summer in Oregon.

With more than 30 offers to choose from, Jefferson, a three-year starter for Poteet High School in Mesquite, Texas, is looking at schools such as Texas, Texas A&M, TCU and Baylor, as well as out-of-state schools Alabama, Oregon and Stanford. Jefferson will announce his college plans Dec. 19.

Tuesday’s ceremony, sponsored by American Family Insurance, was icing on the cake for an outstanding high school career.

“I’m very appreciative of everything, and it’s a blessing to know that [Under Armour is] recognizing my true talents,” Jefferson said. “I can’t wait to get there, have fun and compete against the best of the best.”

He then added: “Oh, and to work my tail off.”

Quick hits on Malik Jefferson:

Why do you wear your football number? “I wear No. 46 because of my big brother (Tarik). He wore it in high school, so I took after him.”

Best UA game player:Jadeveon Clowney. Or Julio Jones. He’s an animal.”

Favorite football player:Von Miller. He follows me on Twitter. I was excited when I got that follow.”

In any sport, which celebrity would you challenge? “Drake in basketball. He doesn’t have a jump shot.”

Did you know ... Jefferson is very active with his church. He is a part of a miming group that does a form of interpretive dance.

Tale of the tape: Stanford vs. Oregon 

October, 30, 2014
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While Stanford's trip to Oregon this weekend has lost some of its preseason luster, it's still a matchup of two Pac-12 North and recruiting powers.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
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The Pac-12 saw a new commitment and a flip on Sunday, while Stanford and Utah took advantage of important recruiting weekends and focus is already shifting toward a huge upcoming visitor list for Oregon.

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Early Offer: Hogs dominate in-state 

October, 26, 2014
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To win in the SEC, Arkansas knew it had to keep the star-studded 2015 in-state recruiting class at home, and that’s exactly what it has done. Plus, a rival recruiter believes Notre Dame’s class will be in the top five by the time signing day arrives.

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Best of the visits: Pac 12

October, 26, 2014
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Stanford and Utah took advantage of big weekends, posting home wins in front of a number of important visitors. The Cardinal hosted four official visitors for their big win against Oregon State, while the Utes had several official visitors and at least one out of state 2016 unofficial visitor.

Fond of the farm

ESPN 300 safety Ben Edwards took an official visit to Stanford over the weekend and had positive things to say. After committing to both Auburn and Ohio State during this cycle, Edwards is looking hard at Stanford and several other programs.



Stanford also hosted running back Cameron Scarlett, wide receiver Trent Irwin and defensive end Kenneth Brinson on official visits.

Last-second statement

Utah picked a good time to pull out an exciting win, as commit Donzale Roddie, along with safety Tyson Cisrow, were in attendance on official visits. They were both important visitors, as Roddie is already committed to Utah but open to speaking with other programs, while Cisrow would be another significant Florida addition for the Utes.



Utah also had 2016 offensive lineman Tucker Scott on hand. The Utes were Scott's first offer and it certainly didn't hurt that quarterback Travis Wilson, who attended Scott's high school, led Utah to the win against USC.

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