Every once in a while, Stanford and Washington collide for a knock-out recruiting battle in the Northwest, and it has looked like the Vesuvius for the 2004 football recruiting class will be 6'5" offensive lineman Bobby Dockter from Mukilteo, Washington. Both schools are in hot pursuit of the top big nasties they can find, and Dockter is one of perhaps a pair of intersections of the school's respective wish lists.
Our last check in with the offensive tackle recruit revealed that there was still an open question surrounding the state of his recruitment by the U-Dub. The Huskies had targeted Dockter as premier OL recruit since his sophomore year, yet he does not at this point have a firm offer from the Seattle school. He was one of a handful of recruits invited to a special talk from head coach Rick Neuheisal at the conclusion of UW's junior day back in early April, where the group was told they were the "cream of the crop" and would be offered soon by the Huskies. Soon was thought to mean May, as it is the time when college coaches are allowed to visit prospects at their schools for evaluations. Coaches are also allowed by the NCAA to make one phone call to a prospective student-athlete during May.
So I thought I would hold off after May to get the latest update on Dockter, primarily to check up on what the Huskies did with him during that month of opportunity. The answer surprised me. "I still do not have a firm offer from Washington," he reveals. And though you will find a Husky offer listed in the network's recruiting database, that stems from a conversation Neuheisal had with Dockter's high school coach, which has been hailed by some recruitniks as every bit the firm offer needed. But Dockter is an analytical and careful young man who does not approach the recruiting game with the great leaps of faith that so many recruits do. Frankly, there are all manners of conversations with recruits and their coaches that are interpreted to be offers when recruits give their school lists to recruiting services. Case in point: fellow Washington lineman Aaron Klovas has been cited several times by services counting Stanford among his offer list, even though the Bethel High School standout has never received such a gesture in spoken word or in writing, and at this time has scant contact with the Stanford coaching staff.
At the same time, the Huskies have extended firm offers to the 6'6" Klovas, 6'7" Jacob Hucko and 6'7" Casey Bulyca. Bulyca hails from the same high school and class as another Stanford/Washington recruiting battle, Matt Tuiasosopo, and Bulyca has already given his verbal commitment to the Husky staff. The prevailing logic is that Neuheisal has an "A" list and an "A-" list of offensive tackle recruits, and for whatever reason Dockter has descended below the threshold for the top list. That leaves the Washington staff still evaluating him versus other candidates they are finding in this class.
But where does all this leave Dockter in how he thinks about Washington and their delay in offering? "If I take them at their word, and I don't have any reason yet not to do so, they for sure are going to offer," he posits. "But it is just a question of the timing. I am in no rush - I'll just wait and take my time with this. They have clearly told me the offer is on the way. It could come at camp."
And camps indeed are the next important agenda item for the Mukilteo standout. He has a half-day camp coming up at Oregon next Sunday (June 15), and then will hit the Washington and Stanford multi-day camps later in the month. Dockter had planned on also attending the Seattle Nike Camp on June 20, but says that a high school team obligation may now keep him away. "There is a passing camp that might make me miss the Nike Camp and first day of the UW camp," he explains. "I'm a team captain this year, and that means it's important for me to be there for support. The team has to come first, and everything individual comes after that."
The Stanford and Washington camps will be very critical events for Dockter, as he says they will give him his best glimpse at a future in cardinal and white or purple and gold. "I'll get a lot more information about both programs pretty soon," he begins. "The June camps will definitely be important to me - see if I mesh or clash with the coaches."
Dockter says that those same two schools remain his two leaders, with Oregon currently sitting at third. But it is another northwest school who has interestingly stepped forward and given the offensive tackle his second firm offer: Oregon State. Dockter received a phone call from the Beavers last weekend, during the very final days during the May call period, and heard the good word.
In addition to these four Pac-10 schools, he says that his favorite schools under consideration are Colorado, Michigan State, Northwestern and Nebraska. He in particular notes that the Wildcats and Huskers have "started sending a lot more mail."
For most members of the 2004 high school class, now is a time of rest and relaxation. The phone is no longer ringing off the hook and most schools have adjourned for the summer doldrums. But Dockter and his high school teammates are holding a rather late two-week session of "spring" football in June. In addition, the academic standout took the SAT for the first time yesterday (6/7) and will take the ACT next Saturday (6/14). He scored a 1280 on the PSAT earlier in high school and says he is shooting for a 1350 on the SAT.
Another notable update on the academic front is that Dockter has the Stanford admissions application in hand and is currently working through it. He says he plans on finishing it in the next couple weeks and bringing the completed packet with him to the Stanford football camp on June 26. "Coach [Steve] Morton has talked with me about the application stuff and explained that I need to be accepted by the University before I can accept a full scholarship," the rising Mukilteo senior reports. "I want to have the application done as soon as possible."
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