Shuler on Stanford visit: "I was blown away"

Despite only being on campus for 24 or so hours, Graham Shuler said his third trip to Palo Alto was his best yet, in part because of Stanford's game day atmosphere.

"It was phenomenal," Graham Shuler said. "It really was. I had a blast. Even though we were only out there for a little bit, it was still probably my best trip out there so far."

Shuler, a Tennessee resident accustomed to the pomp and circumstance of SEC crowds, was pleasantly surprised by his Stanford Stadium experience.

"I was blown away," Shuler said. "It was sold out and the black uniforms are sick, but they had the students waiting. Just the waiting list for students, their line was ridiculous. There were tons of people that couldn't even get into the game, which was awesome. It was a hectic, crazy environment.

"Just coming from the South you see the SEC atmosphere, where they have such a reputation of being this crazy gameday atmosphere. I wasn't really sure what to expect going to the West Coast, but I was blown away by Stanford's atmosphere."

Like the rest of us, Shuler was also taken aback by a one-handed catch by a certain Cardinal quarterback. He certainly had quite the view.

"We sat to the side of the student section," Shuler said. "We were right next to the students, something like the 25-yard-line on the Stanford sideline. It was great. We were right there when Andrew made that catch."

Luck's brilliant reception raised the question - if a quarterback can catch a pass in Stanford's offense, why not an offensive lineman?

"I was messing with Coach Pep Hamilton after the game and were talking about Luck's catch and Coby Fleener's catch, and he was telling Conner Crane, ‘I can't wait for you to make some of those catches,' and I was like, ‘Coach, [don't forget about] the offensive linemen,' so he got a laugh off that," Shuler said.

Of course there was more to Shuler's unofficial visit than watching his future team beat UCLA by almost 30 points. The offensive lineman enjoyed spending time with his fellow Cardinal recruits.

"Me and Andrew Jelks hung out a lot because we had the Tennessee connection, so I got to know him pretty well," Shuler said. "Nathanael Lohn is an awesome, awesome guy. Me, him, and Conner Crane were kind of touring around before Andrew got there. That whole group we have, with Aziz Shittu, Conner, all those guys, we all had so much fun. I really, really enjoyed it."

Shuler, and many of Stanford's other verbal commits, will return to Palo Alto in January for the customary "Big Visit" weekend. It's a trip, Shuler said, that can't come soon enough.

"We're ecstatic about it," Shuler said. "It was an unofficial for me and Conner, so we're both going to use our official for January. The other [uncommitted recruits] were like wait, we want to come back out in January, so hopefully we an make that work, but it was a blast, I'm really looking forward to getting back out there as soon as I can."

In the meantime, Shuler hopes to put the finishing touches on his Stanford application.

"Admissions for me, I just need to turn my application in," Shuler said. "I've been very critical of my writing, and I just need to turn my essays in."

Shuler's Brentwood Academy team is currently 5-1, its latest win coming against state power Baylor.

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