Card Catch Catron

One of the attendees at Stanford's Spring Game on Saturday was a familiar face. <b>Josh Catron</b> had already taken an official visit to The Farm in early January, but medical circumstances derailed what looked like a facile marriage for the linebacker and the Cardinal. After seeing Catron in Stanford Stadium, we called to get his latest.

The last time we reported to you on Josh Catron, he was coming together with Stanford again - after a medical revelation regarding Catron's back had separated the recruiting partners.  The Torrance (Calif.) two-way athlete was offered by the Cardinal in the fall as an inside linebacker, but when an MRI revealed a bulging disc, Stanford pulled back.  They told the 6'1" running back/linebacker that he would need to first walk on at Stanford before they could have a scholarship for him.

That also meant Catron would have to go through a different admissions portal to reach The Farm.  Rather than receiving an early read as a scholarship recruit, the SoCal student-athlete had his application processed the same as the 20,000+ high school senior applicants from across the country.  Catron previously reported to us a 1420 SAT and 4.3 GPA, and more than three weeks ago, he received the fat envelope in the mail giving him good news.

"Yeah, I'm in," he shares.  "We were expecting to get in, but it was good news."

While waiting for his Stanford admissions answer, Catron was weighing Ivy League options.  He took official visits not only to Stanford, but also to Havard, Penn and Yale.  He gave a non-binding verbal commitment to the Quakers, but there are no scholarships in the Ivy League and he had time to wait on a Stanford admission before Penn's May 1 decision reply deadline.  After he trekked to The Farm this past weekend to see the Spring Game and talk with the Cardinal coaches, Catron committed to Stanford.

"I'll definitely be attending Stanford in the fall," reports the Torrance High School senior.  "The difference [versus Penn] was the strong possibility of getting a scholarship."

"I went to Stanford last weekend because I wanted to know how the coaches felt about me coming - whether they were excited or not.  They say they are, and that's what I believe.  I also talked with two doctors and the strength and conditioning coach about my back.  They said it is possible that it could get injured right when I get there, but it could also never affect me the rest of my life.  The key is to take the right precautions, which they feel confident can be done.  But they say I'm OK to play football right now," Catron offers.

There was also talk during the weekend visit with the Stanford coaches about when the linebacker would go on scholarship.  The manner in which he is walking on at Stanford is parallel to that of Jared Newberry five years ago.  The Minnesota two-way athlete did not sign a Letter of Intent for a scholarship when the last spot was instead taken by All-American Amon Gordon, but Newberry was promised one as soon as it became available.  He was on scholarship in his first year.  Newberry started 25 games for Stanford and was Sunday taken in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.

"They said it could happen in the next few weeks, or it could be a year," Catron says of the Cardinal coaches' scholarship timeline for him.  "There are a few variables:  Erik Lorig, how they evaluate their players from the spring, and the health of my back."

"It would be nice to get a scholarship right now," he adds.  "But I don't mind if I have to wait."

With his Stanford future now set, Catron has returned home to his unfinished high school athletic career.  He and the Torrance High Tartars are rolling on the baseball diamond, winners of 10 straight.  Catron is helping on the mound and at the plate, though his pitching is grabbing more attention with a 4-0 record and 0.8 ERA.

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