It has seemed a forgone conclusion to many Stanford fans that Buddy Teevens will not take a quarterback in this 2004 recruiting class, but that does not jive with the personal phone calls he is making on a weekly basis to College Park, GA quarterback Jordan Lyons. Lyons has led his Woodward Academy team to an 8-1 record this year, delivering a nearly unstoppable duel-threat skill set in the option offense. He has broken 1000 yards passing already and sits at 850 yards on the ground. Though he presents an intriguing athlete with mobility and and size that could fill a number of positions on offense, his underrated quarterback skills have made his name in the Atlanta area. Throwing for 53% on the season Lyons has tossed 14 touchdowns versus only five interceptions.
"I think I've done well both passing and running the ball this year," the 225-pound Woodward senior opines. "I'm very accurate and make good reads. There are things for me to work on, though. Most of my passing comes off play-action, and I have scrambling tendencies. I can become a better passer when I become more comfortable in the pocket."
Despite his acumen under center, some schools are pushing his recruitment at other positions on offense. Georgia made a big offer before his senior season, which was a dream come true for the lifelong fan of the Dawgs, but they have made it clear that they are recruiting him as an athlete. To complicate matters further, the recruit's father, Tommy Lyons, was an All-American center at Georgia back in the 1960s.
"They don't want me as a quarterback," the younger Lyons says of the Bulldog coaches. "They want me as an athlete. My dad played for Georgia, and he bleeds red and black, but both my parents have been supportive through this of letting me make my decision. They are staying out of the process, and it's been very easy for me. When I look at Georgia and tell them that I want to be a quarterback, it seems like the only reason they recruit me is because I'm a legacy. I don't want to live in my dad's shadow and would like to play somewhere else."
Lyons does have offers from a trio of other compelling schools who tell him he can play quarterback in their program: Maryland, Michigan State and Penn State. The Nittany Lions are the most recent school to offer and as such have earned an unofficial visit from the signal caller this weekend. Lyons has previously taken an unofficial trip to Maryland to see their game against Clemson, and he has his first official trip set for East Lansing to see Michigan State next weekend (11/22).
Two other schools are also in the mix, though, rounding out the top five for this Woodward Academy senior. Stanford is recruiting Lyons as a quarterback while North Carolina is recruiting him as a tight end. Neither have offered but express very serious interest in the recruit.
"My preference is to play quarterback in college," Lyons says. "But I'm also looking heavily at academics, which is the main reason I am still leaving North Carolina on my list. They are a great school and demand my attention. They have not offered but talk with me very often."
Academics is also the reason the Cardinal remain on his list, and Lyons is being patient as he goes through the requisite admissions application process for the school. He carries a 3.4 GPA with a strong 1320 SAT and has filled out most of the application. He is waiting on just one last teacher recommendation at this time.
Once upon a time Lyons was going to take an unofficial visit to see Stanford for the UCLA game two weeks ago, but he has decided to hold off on any visit plans until his admissions and offer status is cleared up. Indeed, Lyons is being careful about going too far down the road with any school until he has all the information he needs on their intentions.
"I don't want to rank these schools until I get all my offers in," the prudent prospect proclaims. "The visits will be critical for me anyway - the campus will be a big thing in how I evaluate a school. I also have to consider the coaching staff. Coach [David] Kelly was the main guy at Stanford who came after me in the first place, but Coach Teevens has called me recently."
Though Stanford has an incredible pipeline from the Peach State, including four freshman in the most recent 2003 class and 11 Georgians overall on the roster, distance is always a factor to explore with recruits 3000 miles from Palo Alto. Lyons quickly fires back that he and his family are not the least bit concerned about the possible distance to the West Coast.
"My mom works for Delta," he says of the Atlanta-based airline. "Distance is not a problem at all."
Lyons and the War Eagles will play their regular season finale tonight at Alexander, though they have already clinched the #2 seed for the Region 4 Class AAAA playoffs. If Woodward Academy sounds familiar to you, look at your Stanford Cardinal roster and find current sophomore defensive end Julian Jenkins, the famed alumnus who was rated the #1 DE in the country his senior year.
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