Van Meter (Iowa) class of 2017 defensive end Dylan Boles has always had an affinity for Stanford. Since a young age, he would keep an eye on the Cardinal, knowing they provided top-notch academics and playing in the Pac-12.
That dream became more of a reality when he was accepted and offered a preferred walk-on spot at Stanford, ironically while visiting Penn.
“When I got accepted, that was really huge, it was on December 9th,” Boles said. “Just for me, I knew I was still weighing my options towards the Ivy League and Stanford.”
Ultimately, Boles chose Stanford over Yale and Penn.
“I was really just talking with my parents, just discussing where I want to see myself in the future,” the 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end said. “(I thought about) What type of academic experience I want to get out of it and ultimately there is a variation between the athletic competition level between the Ivy League and Pac-12 is. I was just debating the level of competition I want to plan and how I want my career to play out.
Boles wants to study political science or international relations with potentially law school down the road.
Over the years, Boles visited the campus three times, camping twice over the past two summers. He said the Stanford coaching staff likes him as a defensive end in the Cardinal’s 3-4 defense, assuming a role similar to what Solomon Thomas had in past years.
He has spent time getting to know the other recruits, and instantly felt a part of something special.
“I guess the best thing about Stanford, especially the new guys coming in, is there is virtually no discretion between whether you're a scholarship guy or a preferred walk on or if you are committed or not,” Boles said.
“Even with the preferred walk-ons, these are guys with Division I scholarship offers and opportunities elsewhere, and they decided they are going to pass those up and join the movement.”
As a preferred walk-on, it is unlikely Boles will find the field in the next year, but he is “up for the challenge” of going up against some of the best offensive linemen and most elusive athletes in the country
“It's going to be unbelievably helpful in that aspect,” Boles said. “You're going up against guys at least in my class that are deemed the best in the country at their respective positions and then you have (Drew Dalman) who is a really, really good center in our interior offensive line.”
And he is ready to take advantage of all Stanford has to offer.
“It has a world-class academics but you also have a nationally competitive athletics. It's a beautiful marriage between both. I guess we’re a lot of these guys in the class, and previous classes as well, that understand that that experience will make them a better student-athlete and ultimately a man.”