Stanford fans, just like the Stanford coaching staff, have been playing a waiting game for Jenks (Okla.) offensive lineman Chase Beeler. The 6'4" 278-pound interior OL recruit has the desired combination of athleticism, strength and technical proficiency. Equally enticing for the Cardinal are his 33 ACT and perfect 4.0 GPA. But pulling a talent like that out of the Sooner state means leaping over one great hurdle. It was thought that would be resolved by this late date in the summer, but Beeler tells us otherwise.
The Jenks High School senior camped and proved himself a star in Norman (Okla.) in early June at Oklahoma's summer camp. Soon thereafter he told The Bootleg that he expected to hear back from his recruiting coach on the Sooners staff with news on their decision for or against a scholarship offer.
"I'm still waiting on Oklahoma," Beeler updates. "Coach Wilson has said he'll contact me. I assume he will at least extend the courtesy of doing so, even if they decide not to offer me."
The Sooners have thus far held back from offering the in-state lineman, presumably while they wait on the remainder of their offensive line recruiting board to shake out. Beeler is one of the top 10 players this year in Oklahoma, and Scout.com has him rated the #24 overall prospect in the Midlands region.
Meanwhile, other programs are hopping on board. Beeler has added five new scholarship offers since we last reported on him in June. Colorado, Iowa State, Northwestern, Tulsa and Wyoming are the latest to throw their hat in the ring. One of those schools to watch is Northwestern. Not only do they offer one of the stronger academic profiles among his suitors, but also they have a connection at Jenks High School. The Wildcats signed Beeler's quarterback this past February, Andrew Brewer.
"I'd say my top seven schools right now are Stanford, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma," he declares. "Stanford is still atop my list, and I'm leaving heavily toward them."
While the offers pile up, there is another piece of important paperwork on this recruit's mind this summer. He has been working on the Stanford admissions application, and has made a good deal of progress. Beeler tells us that he is waiting on two of his letters of recommendation. He has finished writing his essays and is in the final stages of editing them.
"I'll have everything sent in as soon as reasonably possible, while maintaining the quality of my application," he comments. "I should have that in by the beginning of August, at the maximum."
There is no such thing as a sure thing on Stanford admissions, but we would be fools to not bet heavily on Beeler's chances given his top academic numbers and articulate communication skills. Assuming his application is soon submitted and then accepted, the Oklahoman could be poised to become Stanford's next verbal commit in the 2006 class. After all, he places the Cardinal number one on his list, and has done so for the last couple months. Moreover, Beeler has previously stated his desire to wrap up his recruitment before starting his senior season.
However, there has been a small change in plans.
"To be honest, I don't know if I'll be able to follow through with that," Beeler says of his original intent to commit by the end of August. "There was a flaw in my plan. Official visits start in September, and I'd like to take a couple or three. The recruiting process is something I want to enjoy, and take my time."
So Stanford may wait just a few weeks longer than anticipated to bag Beeler, right? Wrong.
"I don't think I can take any visits during the season," he explains. "We have games on Friday nights, and it would be a stretch to fly late on a Friday night or a Saturday morning. I don't think we have any bye weeks on our schedule, either. We're probably looking at December and January for my visits."
That is not good news for the Cardinal. While they currently hold a substantial lead on the rest of the pack, more harm than good is likely to unfold for their fortunes with an extended timeline. Oklahoma has a national collection of elite offensive linemen currently offered above Beeler on their recruiting board, but it has been consistently reported for more than a month by our friends at OU Insider that Beeler is on the cusp of an offer. With the simple passage of time, any school's recruiting board will thin. By the time Beeler is ready to take his trips, the Sooners (and others) could offer and change the mathematics of his recruiting equation.
"That all could change, though, if somebody called with an urgent need for me to commit," he caveats. "I could set these new plans aside, then."
While some interesting recruiting dynamics will play out in the following weeks, Beeler is also looking to the start of his senior season. The Trojans are once again expected to be in the mix for a state championship in the 2005 season. Jenks took home the title in 2003, Beeler's sophomore year, and seven of the last nine years. But his freshman and junior seasons, Beeler ended the year on a loss. Last fall it was a 27-17 defeat in the championship game to fellow Oklahoma powerhouse Union, and those two programs will lock horns early in '05 in the Trojans second game of the season. That game follows the opener at Bixby, a rivalry with more than a half century of history.
While both of those non-league games will test Beeler's bunch on the road, it is a 115-mile trek the following week to Springdale (Ark.) to play one of the most acclaimed high school teams in the nation in 2005 that grips our attention. The September 17 game (1:00 PM Central) will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest, pitting the Oklahoma power against one of the most talent-laden teams in the history of Arkansas. QB Mitch Mustain, WR Damian Williams, TE Ben Cleveland and OL Bartley Webb are just a few of the elite playmakers on the Bulldogs' roster.
Fans and college coaches alike will be watching that interstate showdown closely. It will be interesting to see where Chase Beeler's recruitment stands before and after that matchup. Stay tuned.
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