The month of December has seen some shaky reports on Stanford's standing with Mahtomedi (MN) fullback recruit Jerod Arlich. He was often quoted as saying there was uncertainty surrounding his scheduled fifth and final visit to The Farm in January, with his trip a week ago to Minnesota possibly being his last before a Christmas decision. But as is all too often the case, Arlich was misquoted and has intentions on taking an official visit to Stanford.
"When this whole thing started, I promised myself i would take all my visits," the 6'4" recruit explains. "No regrets. That has been reinforced on all my visits, where at least one player at each school has told me in private to take all my visits. They didn't and had regrets."
The somewhat nebulous criteria that Arlich has consistently articulated to The Bootleg has been that he anticipates his final college choice will be the place that "clicks" for him completely. With four visits in the books to Notre Dame, Northwestern, Colorado and Minnesota, he is still waiting for that truly different feeling in his gut.
"This and the Colorado visit were very similar," he describes of last week's Minnesota trip. "Both were very fun; both half-clicked."
Before leaving for this most recent official visit, Arlich told The Bootleg that he was familiar with the Twin Cities campus from countless unofficial visits. "I'm not expecting any surprises because I know it so well," he said. After returning from the visit, he reports that he did have some new experiences.
"It was my first real chance to hang out with the players and see how I related to them," Arlich details. "I didn't get much into the academics before, but I got my arms wrapped around that this time. I really felt I fit in good with Minnesota. Oh, and the Minnesota housing is amazing - very nice."
After returning from that trip, the hotly contested recruit entertained the coaches of his final three schools at his home. I had last reported to you that he had four schools remaining on his list, but he notified Northwestern that they would not be in his final decision matrix. Stanford head man Buddy Teevens visited the Mahtomedi residence on Thursday, but some unexpected news came via phone on Wednesday.
"Coach Teevens called me the day before he arrived and told me that one of my teacher recommendations was missing," the recruit begins. "I was surprised because I knew my teachers had all sent them in, except one guy who I did not check with but just had to assume got it done. He is my basketball coach and has taught me in three classes. So I went to see him and find out what happened, and he told me he decided to not write a recommendation for me because I am not coming out for basketball this year. It's never a sport I've really enjoyed, but everyone has just expected me to play because I'm big. I was shocked - it was such a petty thing to do, and for something that is my future! Coach Teevens went to school with me and we found a teacher who wrote a new recommendation for me. That is not as easy as it sounds, because the teacher has to teach a core class and have taught you a certain amount of time. But that is now in to Stanford and hopefully it won't delay my decision too long."
With that unexpected drama out of the way, Teevens had a nice in-home visit with the Arlich family.
"He told me afterwards that it was one of the most colorful visits he has ever made," the recruit chuckles. "My brother brought out the bagpipes and played for him. Coach Teevens was fascinated because he had heard them before but not seen them in action up close like that. He gave them a try and got a little squeak out of them, which is actually really rare. It takes incredible windpower to get any sound out. The whole family had a good time and really enjoyed the visit."
This week now marks a period of tranquility, which is welcome for this recruit. While he is enjoying the recruiting process, it is also a taxing and stressful experience. December has been a time of many phone calls and many visitors.
"I am going to try and not think about it too much," Arlich says of the NCAA quiet period. "I really want to clear my mental palate."
Arlich is not dropping any hints as to how he is leaning among his final three of Stanford, Colorado and Minnesota, and he earnestly hopes that he gets that amazing feeling when he experiences the Cardinal campus next month. If it "half-clicks" like his other two favorites, then he will have a tough task of evaluating the pros and cons of the three schools. In the meantime, he anxiously awaits his admissions answer from Stanford, which he should have safely before he would travel the weekend of January 9 to Palo Alto.
He reports a 3.92 unweighted GPA and a 27 ACT.
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