Jake Bailey is the nation's no. 4-ranked kicking prospect and no. 5-ranked punting recruit. As a high school defensive back, he also tacked interception returns of 107 and 75 yards onto his resume -- in the same game.
When Bailey committed to Stanford Tuesday, the Cardinal secured a vital piece of its special teams future while also adding an explosive athlete. To focus on his kicking and punting skills, Bailey will no longer play defensive back or receiver during his senior high school season, but he'll bring his 4.48 speed to the specialist positions on The Farm as part of the 2015 recruiting class.
Maybe a few more fake field goals and punts will become part of Stanford's arsenal.
Bailey, who was high school teammates with current Cardinal long snapper Reed Miller at Santa Fe Christian High School in the San Diego area, committed to Stanford on the spot after special teams coordinator Pete Alamar offered him a full ride scholarship Tuesday.
"Stanford was always my number one," he told The Bootleg Radio in the interview embedded above.
The offer and commitment came a day after Bailey impressed the Cardinal's staff in the midst of an impressive collection of 120 kickers at the program's special teams camp. Only one scholarship offer was awarded, and Bailey was teh recipient of it.
Kicker Jordan Williamson and punter Ben Rhyne are both entering their final seasons of eligibility at Stanford, so Bailey's commitment comes as a critical reloading time nears for the Cardinal, particularly since Hayden Lekacz, a longtime 2014 commit, was not academically admitted into the school. Whereas Stanford offered Lekacz only as a preferred walk-on, Bailey is in line to receive a full ride scholarship.
In a game situation, Bailey says he is currently comfortable kicking field goals up to 55 yards in distance. He has connected from 60 yards out in practice. Former NFL kicker Michael Husted is Bailey's kicking coach. His highlights as a kicker, punter, defensive back, and receiver are embedded below.
David Lombardi is the Stanford Insider for The Bootleg. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com and follow him on Twitter @DavidMLombardi.
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