First Big Visit Weekend Underway

Pull up your chair because Stanford Football recruiting news and drama are going full tilt. A national gathering of athletes have converged on The Farm and are in the thick of a big recruiting weekend. Read on for the latest skinny on nine hot recruits from both sides of the ball: where are they looking at; what are they looking for; and who is hosting them.

FB Jerod Arlich - Believe it or not, his last teacher recommendation hit another snafu when they mailed it to the wrong place. As he was set to depart for Stanford on Thursday, he was almost accepted but not yet officially done. Word coming from the recruits Friday is that Arlich was told he was officially accepted that day. When you ask him for the things he is scrutinizing this weekend, he answers that he is just looking for the gut feeling that derives from so many different things. Likely to decide Monday after he gets home - between Stanford, Minnesota and Colorado. Capp Culver is his host, which puts two fullbacks together but more importantly gives Arlich a hardcore outdoorsman with whom he can bond.

TE Pannel Egboh - He tells The Bootleg that his top three are #1 Stanford, #2 Duke and #3 Colorado State. Scheduled to visit Rice next week (1/16) and either Arizona or Army the following week (1/23). A recent report said that schools were all looking at him for defense, but Egboh set the record straight that his leaders are all talking tight end. Army does want him for DE. A decision could be close at hand. He is arriving on campus today (Saturday) for a late start - North Mesquite HS had a basketball game last night. Egboh will still take his full 48 hours, though, through Monday morning. Host not yet known.

OL Alex Fletcher - We all know Fletch pretty well by now. He called me upon his arrival Thursday night to repeatedly brag about his hotel room. Ah, the good life of a recruited D-I athlete... He says he is turning up his intensity another few notches for this weekend. The All-American center has a tag-team partner, too, as Wopamo Osaisai was adamant about unofficially joining the crew this weekend to recruit like a madman. Jeff Edwards is hosting Fletch, which continues a friendship they started last spring. Fletch also respects Edwards like crazy with what he saw from him on the field this fall. The current Stanford players are already ribbing Fletch pretty hard, and last night they tried to rile him up with some smack that Babatunde Oshinowo will pancake him like crazy in the fall. Of course, Fletch didn't bite; he loves Baba and wants to get in pads and start practicing against these Stanford DTs.

TE Austin Gunder - Little has changed for this big Pennsylvania tight end. He still has the Cardinal and Cardinals neck and neck. Gunder says he'll need both visits, with the other to Louisville to come next week (1/16). He admits that Fletch has worked him hard and made an impact. But will the visit this weekend live up to the New Yorker's hype?. Patrick Danahy is his host.

ATH Langston Johnson - Here's a new name you haven't been seeing. 6'2" and 220 pounds, Johnson was a dominating blocking tight end for nearby Bellarmine Prep this year, and he passes the eyeball test with how cut he is. The concern of some schools is his size, though. No question he will be an undersized tight end, which is where most schools are recruiting him. Stanford is talking halfback. Kris Bonifas is his host.

WR Anthony Kimble - He's pretty young to the sport of football but has dazzled Baton Rouge residents for years as a standout on the basketball court. Top two are Stanford and Duke, and we all know what a problem that will be when he takes his official visit to Durham next week (1/16). The significant news this week was the scheduling of the Duke official visit, as well as the mailing of his Stanford admissions application. Tulane is a distant third at this point. Brandon Harrison is his host, and they apparently are friends from back in Louisiana.

DB Carlos McFall - This is a brand new name for Cardinalmaniacs™, out of Roosevelt HS in San Antonio, TX. McFall is a 6'1" quarterback who ran the ball far more than he passed it this year, and he led all San Antonio QBs with 900 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns. Quick lateral movement and change of direction make him a good defensive back prospect. With his size, he is probable at safety though perhaps a big corner. The mystery lies in his recruitment. His father is adamant about not disclosing which schools have offered his son, and the boy has been coached to do the same. They maintain he has "several" offers. Top four favorites are Stanford, Colorado (1/16 visit), Purdue and Rice. T.J. Rushing is his host.

DE Darrell Robertson - I still think this is largely in the hands of the Admissions Office, but there was one change when I talked with the pass rushing demon this week. While his mother has been over the top in the past about saying how her son is wide open, he has been careful to say that he is committed to Florida State and merely exploring options to be safe. This week, the recruit described to me his current recruiting situation as being "still open." That's a subtle but perhaps meaningful shift... Julian Jenkins is his host.

RB Darius Walker - Stanford's chances surged for this elite running back when he was admitted by the University a month ago, but the outlook is very dim now that the lead recruiting coach, David Kelly, has been removed from the staff and moved on. Kelly had/has a tight-knit relationship with the Walker family - almost kin. I think this one is gonzo for the Card for a handful of reasons. And even if he comes off this weekend sky high on Stanford, there will be three more weeks for new visits to bury the experience of The Farm. J.R. Lemon is his host, which is the best you can wish for.

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