Fla. DB Drew Madhu impresses at camp, commits

Despite playing for one of the most high-profile programs in the state, Tampa Plant High School (Tampa, Fla.) safety Drew Madhu only had a smattering of non-BCS offers before last week. The problem, Madhu explained, was that his high school film didn't reveal his ability to play man-to-man coverage, something colleges tend to value in defensive backs.

"Well really, everyone liked me in the spring," Drew Madhu said. "Everyone liked my film, but everyone had the same question as Stanford. It was, ‘Can he play man-to-man?' Because really, in my film, I'm a strong safety at Plant, so I make a lot of tackles, but it really doesn't show too much man game."

To prove those cover skills, Madhu has attended a variety of college camps this summer. One of those camps was held at the University of South Florida, where Scout.com's USF reporter Larry Weisbaum saw the recruit in action. He provided the following evaluation of Madhu to The Bootleg.

"I thought he looked pretty good at the camp and showed pretty good cover skills," Weisbuam wrote. "He made a fantastic leaping one-handed interception to seal the win over a much better Armwood team to advance to the finals. Well-built and moves well. I wasn't sure about his top-end speed, but he looked good at the weekend, though it was without pads on."

That positive assessment was shared by the Stanford coaching staff, which offered Madhu after he camped in Palo Alto early last week.

"I was out there for their all-day camp and then I attended Monday Night ball as well," Madhu said. "I think I did pretty well. The only thing the coaches were concerned on, they really couldn't tell from my film, was my man coverage. From what they told me, they were pretty impressed. They thought I fit the system well."

Although he wasn't offered on the spot, Madhu was told he'd get a final answer as to his offer status by the weekend. Eventually, in the form of a phone call from Stanford offensive line coach Mike Bloomgren to Tampa Plant head football coach Robert Weiner, Madhu found out he had, in fact, been offered.

It didn't take long for him to accept.

"That's really been the top school all along that I've been looking at, so Coach Weiner gave me the news, we talked about it for a little while, we then called my parents, and everyone agreed," Madhu said "[Then I] talked to my recruiter Coach Bloomgren, he put me on the phone with Coach Mason, the defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach, and I talked with Coach Shaw and it was a done deal."

Like the majority of Stanford recruits, Madhu said the Cardinal's academic/athletic combination was the deciding factor in his commitment.

"They've got one of the best football teams in the nation; they have Andrew Luck coming back, a dominant player," Madhu said. "Great academic school and great coaches. I really liked the coaches, I liked their defensive schemes and I'm pretty excited to play there."

"[Also,] I really liked their stadium. And I knew some of the other people they offered, we had a big center commit was there as well, so I mean the guys were great and I can see myself playing with those guys the next four years. Knowing that those guys were going to be there was so much sweeter."

Madhu, who will begin his Cardinal career as a safety, picked Stanford over offers from Elon, Harvard, Florida International, Bowling Green, and Alabama-Birmingham, as well as interest from Purdue, USF, and Wake Forest.

Since his commitment, Madhu has been in touch with a number of other Stanford commits.

"It was pretty cool, once I committed a bunch of the other guys added me on Facebook, so I've been talking with them," Madhu said. "It's kind of cool. We're all a little family right now. We're talking a lot. We're excited."

It's no surprise, then, that Madhu considers himself a solid Stanford commit.

"I actually had some trips planned next month in July, but this was the one I've been waiting for, this is the one I really wanted to go out there and get, so once I earned a scholarship, done deal," Madhu said."

Madhu is cognizant of the fact, however, that his Stanford offer is contingent upon his admission to the school.

"Stanford's a prestigious academic school, and just because you're offered doesn't mean you're going to get in, kind of like an Ivy school," Madhu said. "I still have to get in admissions. I have good grades, so that shouldn't be a problem."

"I have a weighed 5.2 GPA and right now I'm working on getting my SAT score up just a little bit more."

Madhu added that he hopes to major in "business management and finance."

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