Recruiting sure can change in a hurry.
Just this past Saturday we had the chance to interview Oklahoma lineman Chase Beeler at the Stanford Nike Camp. Scout.com had spoken with the 6'4" 270-pound Tulsa talent only two weeks earlier, at which time Beeler reported no scholarship offers, but on this Saturday he revealed six new offers. Oklahoma State, Missouri, Kansas, Utah, Navy and Northern Colorado. We thought that was breaking news enough.
Then Beeler turns around and tells The Bootleg on Tuesday that he held another new scholarship offer - this one from the Cardinal. The Jenks High School standout spent the first part of Sunday once again on Stanford's campus, this time to take part in what little of the Junior Day he could manage. Beeler and his parents were rushed to get to the San Jose International Airport to standby on a flight early that afternoon, so they missed much of the day's festivities.
"I told Coach [Nate] Hackett that we would have to leave early, and he said that was fine. But Coach [Walt] Harris wanted to talk with me first, before I left," Beeler reports. "The started with an orientation where the position coaches introduced themselves, and then I went to Coach Harris' office. We talked for about five minutes, and then he said he wanted to offer me."
"I'm incredibly excited about this," the excited Oklahoman reports. "All the time that I've been filling out questionnaires, Stanford has consistently been number one or in my top two."
Beeler has never recorded so much as a "B" on his report card in his high school career, with a pristine 4.0 core GPA. He has also scored a stellar 33 on the ACT, which is just shy of the maximum 36 perfect score. With an academic record so strong, it does not take much digging to discover the match between Beeler and the Cardinal.
"I've made it abundantly clear all along that academics are my number one priority in going to college," the Jenks junior shares. "Coach Harris felt like Stanford was an excellent fit for me. It's not just the academics, though; he is leading a turnaround for the program this year and wants guys who are committed."
Though the conversation and time at Stanford's Junior Day was brief, Beeler has high interest in Stanford. He falls short of proclaiming them his number one favorite, but he has a hard time saying they would fall outside a top two list he could put together. The question for the Cardinal, then, is who else might occupy a leading position alongside Stanford?
"It hasn't been one school. It's usually been a combination of two or three schools," Beeler answers. "Right now I'd be willing to say that Stanford is among a small group of favorites for me. As of this moment, that small group would include OU, Michigan, Tennessee, USC and Miami."
Those other five schools have yet to offer the two-way lineman, but he is hearing from all of them, beyond the standard mailings. The 500-pound gorilla of the group is obviously the in-state Oklahoma Sooners. The last time the Cardinal gave serious chase to an Oklahoma student-athlete, they lost defensive tackle Carl Pendleton to Bob Stoops in a dramatic and controversial 11th hour decision.
"Oklahoma is up there because of the proximity to home and the tradition," Beeler admits. "Growing up, they're most of the games I've been to and seen all the time on TV."
What would Beeler likely do if Stoops swooped in and delivered a scholarship to his doorstep in the next week? Would Stanford and the rest of the pack then be chasing Oklahoma in an uphill battle?
"I wouldn't say that," the Tulsa target replies. "All of my favorites could offer me today, and it would still take me the entire length of the summer to sort out the features important to me. It might actually take longer, if I had that many strong choices for my decision."
"I'm torn between staying close to home and college being a growing experience, where I could see new things and meet new people," Beeler continues. "The academics of the schools are also an issue. OU is not an the academic powerhouse that Stanford is. I read an AP article recently that listed the largest endowments in the country, and I think Stanford was number five. OU was not even on the list."
Beeler would like to make his college commitment by the end of this summer. The evaluation period for college coaches is closing at the end of this week, which will keep schools off the campus of Jenks High School until September. Should Beeler be looking for a decision on his college future before then, he could be asked by Oklahoma to come to their summer camp to make an evaluation. But he says such an offer scenario might not necessarily sit well with him.
"I want to go somewhere that wants me," he declares. "If Oklahoma tells me that I need to come to their camp before they could offer me, well, it seems a little ridiculous for me to make a trip to Norman just so they can see me perform."
This past weekend we saw Beeler perform on both sides of the line, and he could project at a number of positions, including defensive tackle. He believes he has a handle on where he will place his hand on the ground in college, however.
"I'll end up playing offensive line in college, barring some strange events," the Oklahoman opines. "I've played [offensive] tackle since the fifth grade, but I understand that size becomes an issue at the college level. Most college tackles are 6'5" or 6'6", and I'm knocking on the door of 6'4". I'll probably be a guard or center."
With skyscraping academic credentials, an offer in hand, and a recruiting horizon just a few months away, Chase Beeler will be one of the important recruiting stories to watch in the near future. We will keep tabs on the Jenks High School student-athlete and keep you abreast of all his latest.
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