LB Scherer up to seven BCS offers

Last summer, Mary Institute Country Day School (St. Louis, Mo.) star Michael Scherer flew out to Stanford to participate in one of the Cardinal's camps with high hopes of impressing the coaches enough to eventually earn an offer. Instead, he came away with a gruesome lower body injury that set him back six weeks, and, Scherer thought, created a major roadblock in his quest for a Stanford offer.

"I was doing one-on-one's and I was going up against a running back," Michael Scherer said. "I turned to run with the kid and I felt a pull. I thought I just pulled my hamstring pretty bad. I finally went to a doctor and he x-rayed my hamstring, and my hamstring pulled some bone off of my pelvis. So instead of a hamstring pull, it pulled the bone off."

It's tough to compete against high-level athletes with an injury of that nature, and Scherer's performance at the camp suffered as a result.

"I kind of tried to stick it out and I didn't do as well as I could have and I wasn't real happy about it and I could tell, I knew I didn't do well," Scherer said. "They didn't come after me very hard, and I was thinking maybe it's because of that, maybe not." If Stanford's lack of early interest in Scherer was a result of his camp struggles, a little brotherly love may have helped rectify the situation.

"My brother [Dan, currently a freshman wrestler at Stanford] helped me out a little bit," Scherer said. "He was talking to some kids on the football team, and there's another one from St. Louis who's on the team right now, and I talked to him a little bit, and he's like, ‘Yeah, they say they love you up here, and could you send us your highlight film?' So my dad was going up there to visit my brother and I gave him my highlights and said give this to my brother. My brother relayed the highlight film to the staff. Then they called and said they wanted to offer me. It's great."

Despite his brother's assistance in the matter, Scherer was still surprised when he got the phone call late last week from Stanford running backs coach Mike Sanford with news of an offer.

"I was shocked," Scherer said. "I never thought it would happen. I asked [Coach Sanford] if he was serious, or if it was a joke. He said it was real. I was shocked. I was really excited."

Lest anyone be fooled by Scherer's jubilation in receiving a Stanford offer, it's worth noting that the recruit isn't exactly an unknown commodity. He has seven offers from schools around the country (Stanford, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Boston College), and interest from several other top-BCS programs.

Most of those schools are recruiting Scherer as a linebacker. However, Stanford may have a different vision for the 6-foot-3, 230-pound recruit.

"We had a long conversation about it," Scherer said. "I also play running back in high school and he said that they were going to have a tough time deciding because he said all the coaches keep talking. [Coach Sanford] said they like me at fullback, they like me at running back, they like me at tight end, they like me at inside linebacker, and they like me at outside linebacker. I don't know where I'm going to fit in exactly, but at least I have some options, it sounds like."

Scherer said that while he currently views himself as more of a linebacker, he's open to the prospect of playing other positions.

"I kind of see myself playing a linebacker spot, but wherever I go I'm going to go to play, no matter what position it is," Scherer said. "If I'm playing football, I'm going to be happy."

Of course, playing for coaches he gets along with and with supportive teammates would also tip the happiness scale in a positive direction. Scherer said the people at a particular school would play a large role in his ultimate decision.

"The school is a big, big part of it," Scherer said. "But on the football side, I'd have to say the biggest factor is going to be my position coach. If they want me at linebacker, I'm going to have to get along with the linebacker coach. He has to be somebody I trust and somebody I want to play for, and of course a head coach that I believe in and I want to play for. It's mainly going to be based on the people, a little less than the overall record and stuff like that. That's a good add-on, but if you're not happy then that's not going to mean much."

While not technically one of "the people" Scherer referred to in the previous quote, Scherer's brother is certainly a person of interest to Cardinal fans in Stanford's recruitment of Michael. We'll let Michael explain how, and why, Dan's Stanford experience will impact Michael's recruitment.

"My brother's there," Scherer said. "I've gone to school with my brother my whole life. We've been on the same teams together basically my whole life. He's my best friend, he does so much for me, and he's probably one of the reasons I'm where I am now, because of all the times we would fight and wrestle with each other, all those times.

"Just having him being out there and loving it as much as he does, we like a lot of the same things and I know he absolutely loves it out there, so it will definitely be something that factors in. Having him there is definitely a plus."

With all of those factors in Stanford's corner, it's no surprise that Scherer has the Cardinal near the top of his early list of favorites along with the home-state school, Missouri.

"Stanford and Missouri, I could tell you now, are going to be there until the very end [of my recruitment]," Scherer said.

When Scherer's recruitment will come to a conclusion is less clear, however.

"I really want to narrow it down by the time the summer is over," Scherer said. "My preference would be before that in late July, somewhere around that time. And then, whenever I feel comfortable making a decision, that's when I'm going to do it. If it's early that would be great, if not, it's a big decision and it's going to affect the rest of my life, so I'm going to take it as it comes and wait until I know I found the right place."

Scherer hopes to get a better indication of whether Stanford is "the right place" when he takes an unofficial visit to Palo Alto later this spring. Scherer hopes to visit The Farm for Stanford's second Junior Day April 1 and 2, but those plans remain tentative.

"[Coach Sanford] gave me a few dates and the one that we're looking at is April 1st and 2nd," Scherer said. "I don't know if that's going to work out because that's very soon, so I don't know if it's going to work out. There's also one in late May. He said the one in April will be better because they'll have a practice that day, but if I can't make it I can't make it, so we're going to see how it works out and what I'm available for."

On his visit, Scherer should get a chance to meet with all of his potential future position coaches, including linebackers coach Jason Tarver.

"I will be up there soon and he said, ‘We're going to sit down and have meetings with you and all these different coaches, everyone wants to have meetings with you, everyone wants to get their hands on you.' I will have that chance when I go up there."

Given his brother's experience as a Stanford athletics recruit, you'd expect Scherer to already have a pretty decent grasp on what it takes to get admitted to the school. And, early returns are that he does. Scherer is scheduled to retake the ACT sometime in the spring, and has a 3.3 GPA that looks better in the context of his rigorous high school.

"Right now I have a 3.3 GPA. I go to a pretty good school, and they know that," Scherer said.


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