Dray Draws New Plans

Stanford has a new head coach but less than a week to get the message from Walt Harris into the homes of top Cardinal recruits, before a recruiting dead period starts. We expect an eventful week, and the first breaking news item comes from New Jersey. James Dray, the #13 tight end in the nation, has spoken with Stanford and is changing his visit plans.

With no head coach and no regional recruiter, Stanford has been on somewhat shaky ground the past two weeks with top tight end recruit James Dray.  The four-star standout from Bergen Catholic High School in New Jersey was originally scheduled to see The Farm for the first time on an official visit this past weekend, but Stanford cancelled the trip in the aftermath of Buddy Teevens' firing.  Suddenly, the Cardinal were at risk for no trip out West.  Dray told The Bootleg last week the following plan for his visit schedule:

December 10: Boston College
December 17: Miami (FL)
January 7: Florida State
January 14: Tennessee
January 21: ???

That final weekend was shaping up for the 6'5" two-way athlete as a trip to either Stanford or Iowa.  The Card were down to a 50/50 toss-up for the fifth visit.  Then a phone call came Tuesday from Tom Quinn, a Stanford assistant who is staying on with the new staff and who two years ago was the Northeast regional recruiter for the Cardinal.  With an affirmation of the school's continued desire for the recruit, plus some words about new head coach Walt Harris, Stanford has made a rapid comeback.

"I'm visiting there on January 7," he says about his new Stanford plans.  "Coach Quinn told me how interested they are in me, and that they wanted me to come that weekend.  They were originally the first visit I set up, if that says anything.  They have a very good shot."

The visit to Palo Alto bumps his trek to Tallahassee into recruiting purgatory for now.  Dray says that the only other visit which is now set for him is Tennessee on January 21.  The trip to Miami this coming weekend is off while he waits for the Canes to come back with a decision whether they will offer him or not.  Miami coaches have explained to him their high interest, but they are first sorting out whether they can regain a commitment from famed Houston (Tex.) tight end Martellus Bennett, ranked #2 in the nation at the position by Scout.com.  Dray is ranked #13 currently.

"I have no visits scheduled this weekend," the New Jersey athlete explains.  "I'll know by the beginning of next week what is happening with Miami.  If I do visit them, it will probably be January 28."

If you do the math, that leaves one visit slot remaining for Dray on January 14.  He says he is considering Florida State, Iowa and Notre Dame.

The Jersey gem has yet to speak with new Cardinal head coach Walt Harris, who has now returned to Pittsburgh to prepare his former team for the Fiesta Bowl.  Dray is expecting Tom Quinn to come for an in-home visit this Thursday.

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