'06 Unwrapped: Patrick Egboh

Stanford has a unique challenge as it combs the country for student-athletes who possess both the athletic and academic ability for the rigors of the gridiron and classroom on The Farm. It often helps the Cardinal in their search to return to the high schools where Stanford has scored before, but better still is a sibling. Two years after landing a great talent in Texas, Stanford again is eyeing an exciting Egboh...

We have another Egboh on our radar.

This time two years ago, one of the quietly exciting names in Stanford Football recruiting was Pannel Egboh from Mesquite (Tex.) North Mesquite High School.  The 6'6" tight end was an intriguing raw physical talent who did not play football his junior year of high school.  A pair of 89% grades on a sophomore report card cost him 12 months of football, given the rule in the Egboh home: all A's or no athletics.  By the end of his senior season, attention started to come and Egboh earned scholarship offers ranging from Arizona to Duke to Stanford.  He was a low-profile recruit who earned only two stars from Scout.com and did not sniff any All-American honors out of high school.  But Egboh has quickly earned much acclaim on The Farm as one of the hot rising stars on the Cardinal defense.  Entering his redshirt freshman season at a lean and mean 270 pounds, Egboh is expected to make a big impression the next four years.

We recently heard whispers that another Egboh is on the horizon in this 2006 recruiting class, and the name alone raised our eyebrows.  The rest of the tale piqued our interest further.

Patrick Egboh, if you ask his brother, is faster, more talented and more physically developed than he was at the same stage.  The younger Egboh gives up an inch at his current 6'5", but he has recently experienced a growth spurt and may not be done growing.  Stronger?  Faster?  More talented?  That's heady stuff to hear about Patrick given what we currently think of Pannel.

"Speed-wise, I'm a lot faster than Pannel was at the same age, but I think Pannel understands the game better," the younger brother allows.

Patrick Egboh is more exposed than his older brother was coming into his senior year of high school, for several reasons.  Without a doubt, the benefit of playing his junior season of high school football is a primary difference.  There also is a strong collection of talent at North Mesquite HS this year, with four or five players in the senior class who could play Division I football.  The big dog is 6'7" offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb, a five-star standout ranked the #38 player in the nation in the 2006 class by Scout.com.  Egboh plays defensive end in North Mesquite's new 3-4 defense, the same position as his older brother at Stanford, and that lines him up directly over the offensive tackle.  College coaches who came by the school in the spring were treated to some beautiful battles between the pair.

"Because of my speed, my coach lines me up most of the time on the weak side," Egboh explains.  "So I don't line up every play against J'Marcus.  But I have more energy than the other guys we have, so Coach a lot of times in the spring would pull the other defensive end and put me against J'Marcus."

"I think Pannel broke ground two years ago, and he is the reason that brought coaches to see me in the spring," he adds.  "Then going up against J'Marcus proved what I could do."

It has not been all easy sledding for the younger Egboh at North Mesquite HS, however.  He started his high school career at Bishop Lynch, a private school in Dallas.  With the accumulated expenses from his sisters' private school educations, plus one sister headed to medical school, Patrick needed to transfer to a public school after his sophomore year to balance the Egbohs' bank account.

"In the beginning, I didn't get to start.  I barely played the first two games of my junior year," he recounts of his transition at North Mesquite HS.  "Then the coaches saw in practice my pass rush.  I had more speed than most defensive ends and could get to the quarterback.  They liked me and started to play me more.  Soon I was starting, and I started the rest of the year."

Egboh part deux has earned a faster-paced recruitment than his brother experienced.  While many college coaches are anxious to watch Patrick's senior film, he already has laid claim to scholarship offers from Duke, Tulane and Mississippi State.  The offer you might expect but don't yet see is the Cardinal's.  Here we find a couple wrinkles to this story.

The first relates back to that transfer before Egboh's junior year.  North Mesquite did not accept the honors points from Bishop Lynch and deflated the student-athlete's GPA and class rank when they enrolled him last fall.  This understandably irked Egboh and his parents, who take the utmost pride in academic achievement.  So much so that the recruit's father decided to hold back his son's transcript from being sent to Stanford.  One of the first pieces of mail in the early contact by the Cardinal to a recruit includes a transcript release, which gives the Stanford recruiting office the permission to request a student-athlete's transcripts.

"Stanford sent me the profile and questionnaire, but my dad didn't want to send it back," Egboh explains.  "The transfer messed up my GPA, so my dad wants to wait until the beginning of school, when they say they will fix it, before we send it to Stanford."

A second speed bump is the 1570 Egboh scored on the new SAT in June.  When you strip away the new essay section of the standardized test, his score falls more than 100 points below what his brother tallied.

"I know I can do better than that," he offers.  "I'm studying this summer and will get that up.  My goal is to get an 1800."

Several circumstances are different, but the recruiting future for Patrick Egboh looks much like Pannel's past.

"It would be between Duke and Stanford for me right now," says the younger Egboh.  "I'm confident that once they get my real transcript, I get my SAT up and they see me play a little my senior year, Stanford will offer."

"It would be really great to go to school with my brother and play with him," he adds.

If he boosts his test core, Patrick Egboh looks like an outstanding prospect for the Cardinal in this defensive line class.  This is a story we will track closely for Cardinalmaniacs™ and update as it develops.

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