Minnesota (Mahtomedi HS) fullback Jerod Arlich has travelled a long and winding road for his recruitment, and he has just hours left before a final decision. Last night he returned from California, his first ever trip to the Golden State, where he took his fifth official visit. Stanford was a late arrival to the Arlich sweepstakes this past fall but managed to squeeze into his final three schools. The 6'4" athlete is choosing between the Cardinal, Colorado and Minnesota.
Arlich has previously described the disadvantages of Stanford, with distance and possibly political/cultural conflicts - he is a conservative young man from a very conservative family who is leery of the liberal reputation that California carries. He also has been unsure how well the Palo Alto, CA area will satisfy his outdoors affinity; in contrast, he knows that he has a wealth of hunting, fishing and hiking opportunities in Boulder or Minneapolis.
Speculation will soon fade into solid information, as we fast approach the final word on this fabulous fullback's decision, and today he speaks for the first time on his schools with all visits behind him.
"I was solid on my top two, Colorado and Minnesota, going into this weekend's visit," Arlich begins. "And I said before that Stanford was going to be everything or nothing for me. All my preconceived notions about California - none of them proved to be true. I always hear out here [in Minnesota] that California is the land of hippies, and while I saw a couple, I found the team to be a lot like me."
Arlich also tells me that he found out Friday during his visit on The Farm that he had been officially accepted to the school by the Stanford Admissions Office.
The recruit and his family discussed the Stanford trip during their plane ride home last night, but any progress they made toward his college decision was set back by messages they found on their home phone. Both Colorado and Minnesota had left word that multiple assistant coaches from each school would be by to see the fullback recruit Monday. Arlich met with the Minnesota coaches earlier today at school and has Colorado coming to his house at 4:00 pm Central. Stanford is sending assistant coach Tom Quinn to see him on Wednesday.
Stanford fans have to hope that Quinn formed a good bond with Arlich this weekend while on campus because he is not a coach in a natural position to recruit the Minnesota target. Defensive ends coach Pete McCarty was the lead recruiter for the Midwest, including the Gopher State, through the duration of Arlich's relationship with Stanford, but the two-year Cardinal coach departed for the new George O'Leary staff in Central Florida last month. The next most logical link would be running backs coach Wayne Moses, and indeed Arlich told The Bootleg last week before departing on his trip that he was especially keen on how he bonds with his position coach. The fullback arrived at Stanford Friday morning to find that Moses had been let go by Buddy Teevens, which left Arlich wondering what position coach he would have in his 4-5 years as a Cardinal, should he choose Stanford.
There are tea leaves to be read both for and against a Stanford decision from Arlich today, and you can probably expect other recruiting sites on this network and elsewhere to give their own news and spin on the latest from this hotly recruited fullback. But the fact of the matter is that we will all learn of his final decision soon enough.
"I'll hopefully have enough information tonight to get to a decision that I can sleep on," the recruit reveals. "Then tomorrow I will call the head coaches of the two schools I have to give bad news, and last call the head coach of my chosen school."
Stay tuned to The Bootleg for the breaking news tomorrow night on Jerod Arlich's decision. We have taken great pride in leading the way in his coverage these past few months and will bring you the final word Tuesday night - good or bad for Stanford - as fast as anyone on the planet.
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