Logan has six offers, but Stanford shines

Florida 2013 safety Austin Logan talked with The Bootleg Thursday night. He's been playing football since he was six, he lives in Florida State's backyard, he has six offers to his name, he has a vision for his life path, and he has nice things to say about Stanford.

It's early March, but Florida safety Austin Logan is working out every seventh period. While football is always in the back of his mind, right now, track season is heating up.

Logan runs the 200 and the 400, and reports PRs of 23 and 51 seconds respectively. He finds the 400 far and away the more challenging of the two events.

"The 400 is a man's race," Logan said. "It's nothing but will for the last 100 meters, and the race is basically a full sprint. Fatigue starts kicking in. My long-distance friends say it's nothing compared to the mile or two mile, but everyone has their opinion. I think the 400 is the hardest race in track."

Whatever the distance, perhaps it was destined that Logan would end up a track star. After all, he started chasing people down over a decade ago.

"I started playing football at six years old for my dad's flag football team," Logan said. "We went undefeated that year. I was the defensive end and the OLB. All I would do is blitz and chase after the quarterback, whether he had the ball or not. That's all I really understood when I was a little kid.

"I played flag for two years, and then pee wee. My dad had me at quarterback until eighth grade. … [When I started high school] my coach took one look at me and said, ‘You're playing DB.' So ninth grade I moved to safety, and then in 10th and 11th grade, I played corner and safety."

Logan's high school coach saw and helped further develop the same quality college recruiters are now noticing in the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder: a physical presence and a willingness to play with abandon.

"My physicality separates me from everybody else," Logan said. "I thank my high school coach for that. He makes me go so hard in practice, your head gets numb. You're not going to play for our football team if you don't want to hit. So he instilled that in us on a daily basis."

Still, Logan prides himself on his versatility, stressing that he's equally happy in coverage as he is blitzing and pressing on the line.

Logan reports that the hard work in developing skills and grit alike has paid off. His high school team made the playoffs last year after missing out the season previous. This year's goal is to advance further than the first round.

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Logan lives in a rural area of Tallahassee, "the backwoods," as he puts it. Florida's capital is the home of Florida State University, but the connection between Logan's hometown, his current school and FSU is closer yet.

Logan attends Florida State University School (Wikipedia link), an experimental magnet high school at which Florida State, among other schools, tests out the latest and greatest educational theories. In fact, so strong is the link that the namesake K-12 school was located on Florida State's campus until 2001.

The potential relevance is obvious: should the Seminoles offer Logan, at first blush, they would enjoy a huge head start. But, as one famous FSU alum says, "Not so fast, my friend."

"It's hard not be a FSU fan in Tallahassee," Logan said. "But I throw it out when it comes to recruiting. I look at them like everyone else. I'm not going to pick a school based off seeing them every Saturday.

"I want to be comfortable [at my future college], I want them to help make me a man and develop into someone I want to be in the future. Not just in terms of football, but in terms of academics and everything else."

Stanford has sharpened its academic/athletic pitch in recent years, so it has to be heartening for the Cardinal cognoscenti to hear Logan expound upon the importance of both pursuits.

"Football comes and goes, but academics stay for life," he said. "My coaches and my father really installed that into my head: without academics, you can't get far in life."

Logan's offer list reflects this academic/athletic duality. Three of his six offers are from regional programs: South Florida, Georgia State and Florida International. Logan says Central Florida may soon follow. But then there's Purdue, a school known for its engineering program, and Logan adds Georgia Tech could offer soon too. Plus, two highly-ranked schools, Stanford and Northwestern, have offered, and Logan adds that Duke may find itself on this list in short order.

"I'm proud Stanford and Northwestern offered me as a student and a football player," he said. "It's nice to have that reward, but you can't get focused on that. I'm not a senior done with school. I've gotta keep pushing, and then go to college and start the process all over again with the same work ethic."

Logan's long-term vision also leans heavily on both the cerebral and the physical.

"If it comes and I can play in NFL, I'm not going to turn it down," he said. "Who could turn that down? But if not, I'd like to be a family man, a teacher, a coach, a mentor to young kids. I have been [mentored] my whole life and that's had big impact, my father, my mom, my DB coach and my [extended] family. I always thank them for that.

"I've had a lot of people's help, and I know that and am not going to forget that. The way to give back to the community is to start out with the next generation. I'd like to be an influence in kids' life so I can help them."

As a budding professional save-the-worlder, this reporter could talk mentorship and giving back to the community all day. Scout.com, however, focuses more on football recruiting, and what would you know – Logan's life plans do factor into his college decision process.

"It goes into recruiting," Logan said of his dream of mentorship. "I want a head coach, a position coach who care about me as an actual human, not just on the football field. I want them to take time out of their day and talk to me about things, not see me as shoulder pads and a helmet, but recognize me as a human being, give me their experiences and let me learn."

Mike Bloomgren is Logan's main point of contact at Stanford. As he does of the coaches at the other programs recruiting him, Logan speaks highly of the Cardinal staff.

"I think they offered me because they like me when it comes to academics and the physical part," Logan said. "That's what I like: They don't see me as just shoulder pads and a helmet. They see you as a student-athlete. You can get degree and do something with your life."

Sounds great, Logan. Plan on visiting soon?

"[My family is] trying to make plans, but Palo Alto is far away," he said. "We're trying to save up. I hear it's beautiful."

Logan reports a 3.4 3.429 grade point average. He adds that Stanford has asked him to take two AP courses his senior year and retake the ACT, and doesn't seem entirely opposed to the concept.

"I never thought Stanford would come around," he said. "When they did, I was really excited."

Still, Logan remains in the information-gathering stage of his recruitment, though he adds that the time for evaluating schools and selecting a destination isn't that far off.

"I haven't sat down with my parents to put a leader out there," he said. "During spring, I'll sit down and decide what I schools like. I'm going to commit in August, and when I commit, it's going to be final."

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