"It felt really good being here," he said. "All the coaches treated me really well, and I really liked the stadium too. But I think what really makes it [Northwestern] unique is the academics. With the education here and being in the Big Ten, it's a really good combination."
Along with NU, Stanley has received interest from Harvard, Miami of Ohio, Western Kentucky, Purdue, North Carolina and Ball State. The 6-1, 210-lb junior was a major contributor to Cathedral High's 2011 4A state Championship run, where he played mostly safety and cornerback.
"I've always been able to play multiple positions," he said. "Most coaches see me as a DB, but I definitely think I can play some outside linebacker, too."
That versatility will be a major factor in Stanley's decision-making. Coaches from BCS conference schools have told him that they envision him playing in the secondary, but coaches from other FBS schools have said that a switch to outside linebacker is a definite possibility.
"In high school, I played some outside linebacker and I'd like to do that at the next level too," he said. "I think a lot of it depends on my training. I need to show that I have the size and the speed to play multiple positions. I've been told that, right now, I'm a MAC linebacker and a Big Ten safety, but it's still early."
Stanley plans to make several visits in the near future, while continuing to improve his strength in the hopes of altering the perception that he is undersized as an outside linebacker. NU asked Stanley to attend a summer camp in Evanston, which he views as a good opportunity to showcase his talents.
"I'm definitely excited to go workout for them this summer," he said. "My first visit was great, so I'm ready to go back and show what I can do. It would really mean a lot to play Big Ten football, and at a school with such high academics, that makes it even better."