Aziz Shittu's Leader Remains the Same

Stanford was one of Aziz Shittu (Atwater, Calif.) earlier offers, and the Cardinal appear to have scouted well, as Shittu is now up to 13 offers. Between Stanford's early and often entreaties to the junior and a Junior Weekend where he liked what he saw, Shittu says Stanford is in the lead for now.

"It was pretty good," Aziz Shittu said of Stanford's Junior Weekend. "I got showed around the campus and the facilities, and everything went pretty smoothly."

On the Farm, Shittu made some connections to Cardinal present and (perhaps) future. His host was a fellow defensive lineman, Eddie Plantaric, and since Junior Day, Shittu has also been texting another Stanford recruit with Nigerian ancestry, Ohio linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo, according to Odenibgo. It was those connections, and the possibility of such future connections with players and non-players alike, that most attracted Shittu to Stanford.

"What stood out were the opportunities at Stanford, all the stuff not related to football. The networking with all the people who've been through Stanford. A Stanford degree is obviously impressive, and they elaborated more on that."

Shittu then echoed a perspective that The Bootleg has heard frequently over the years from Stanford recruits.

"It's just that they really care about the academic standpoint, about getting you graduated and helping you get a job after that, if football stops after college," he said.

The Bootleg asked Shittu if the trip cleared up any misconceptions he had, and here too Shittu was illuminating, in comments we teased in a previous piece on Junior Weekend.

"Friday night, we just hung out with the guys and got to know the football team a little bit better," he said. "One thing I thought going in there was that everyone would be looking at books and not be social, but they were cool people who like to have fun, like regular kids."

"[Planatric] and I didn't go out and do a ton, but just whatever questions I asked him, he answered, and he helped me get to know the place a little better," he said.

Meanwhile, Shittu's offer sheet is growing so quickly it may soon be double-sided.

"Oh yeah, I'm up to 13 now," he said. "Arizona State offered me on Friday. I've been pretty excited just knowing that a lot of people are going to take the time try to get to know me and improve me from all over. I was excited to get recruited by one school, so to be at 13 now is pretty exciting."

Every school that offers will garner consideration, Shittu says, but some schools are more equal than others.

"Stanford was in early," he said. "I'm not going to look any more than I need to, and the good thing about Stanford is that they're the first team in my top five, so I'm sitting pretty well with them.

"They're the first team in my top five and the four other schools have yet to be filled," he said. "[The visit] cleared up a lot of my doubts about admissions, the social scene, comfort. Everything is looking real good for Stanford now."

Nonetheless, from talking to Shittu and reading his quotes over the past few weeks, this reporter has the nagging sense that Shittu was a lot more solid to Stanford, or at the least more seriously considering quickly committing to the Card, before his offer list blew up. Now, Shittu obviously still has a strong connection with the Cardinal – and by his own admission the Cardinal sit in the driver's seat -- but as Shittu's number of collegiate options has grown, so too has his awareness of those options.

Indeed, Shittu's final quote is the ultimate Rorschach test: take from it what you wish.

"I don't know if I'm ready to commit at this point right now," he said. "But I loved the place and loved the visit."

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