While official visit season is cranking up for some college football programs, Stanford enjoyed a handful of interesting unofficial visitors Saturday for their home game against Arizona State. Rocketing to a 45-7 lead despite entering the game as 10-point underdogs, it was a positive environment for Cardinal recruits. One first-time visitor was 6'6" 275-pound Gresham (Ore.) Sam Barlow High School offensive tackle Bo Thran. He had only a small part of Saturday to spend on campus, landing locally at 11am and leaving not long after the final gun of the victory over the Sun Devils. He says, however, that it was enough time to learn a good deal.
"It was my first time to Stanford," he notes. "I wanted to try see the campus, meet more of the coaches and learn a lot about the program."
"I walked away with a lot more of an understanding than what I came down with," Thran reports. "I met a bunch of the coaches, saw the facilities and learned how they do stuff - like their weight room and training."
Though he has yet to take, or for that matter schedule, any official visits, this was the third recruiting trip for Thran this fall. He also unofficially visited Oregon for their USC game ("It was pretty crazy - they were playing the number one team in the nation.") and Oregon State for their Boise State game ("I really liked the atmosphere at the game.")
"Their facilities are nice - top of the line. They're as good as anything at Oregon or Oregon State," he says, stacking up Stanford versus the in-state schools. "The new stadium they are building sounds like it will be as nice as everything else they have."
Thran also was impressed by the on-field performance he witnessed Saturday.
"You know, my team came out Friday and played without any heart at all. Stanford looked like they have tons of energy. I liked that," he offers. "I also was able to go in the locker room after the game, which was a first for me. It was pretty cool."
The Oregonian received offers from both the Ducks and Beavers before he started his senior year, but he says that he is also interested in Stanford and Cal.
"Stanford hasn't offered yet, but they are pretty interested," Thran says. "I'm working on my admissions application right now. I've turned in the basic information part, and I'm almost done with my essays. I've given the recommendation forms to my teachers."
Carrying a 3.6 unweighted GPA at Sam Barlow High School, Thran last scored a 1560 on the SAT in May. He took the standardized test again earlier this month but has yet to receive that score.
While the application moves forward and the Cardinal have yet to offer, there may be fertile grounds for one of the in-state schools to close on this offensive tackle recruit. Thran thinks there is not a great risk, however.
"I'm not really a Beaver fan or a Duck fan. It wouldn't be too tough to pry me away," he explains. "I want to wait until after my season to take my official visits. Then I can stack the schools up against each other."
The Barlow Bruins are currently 7-0 on the season and have the chance this Friday to clinch the Mt. Hood Conference title against the second place Centennial Eagles. Ranked #3 in the state in the highest class (4A), the Bruins employ a bruising running game. Thran mans the right tackle position for his team on offense, as well as defensive tackle, and he professes a proficiency as a drive blocker.
"We run about 80% of the time. That's our game: run the ball down your throat. We run the toss sweep well, but when we need to pick up a short yardage situation, it usually goes behind me and the right guard on a dive right," Thran describes. "I'm keeping my pad level down a lot better this year. I feel like I'm quicker this year, too."
Saturday was our first chance to eyeball Bo Thran in person, and he was visually impressive. The big offensive tackle, ranked the #5 overall recruit in the state of Oregon this year by Scout.com, has a good frame and is well put together. His story is an important one to follow, as the Cardinal look to land a strong offensive line class this year. Thran's senior season could extend into December, which in turn could push his official visits into January, so this is a tale that could continue for a few more months. Stay tuned.
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