Walk, Then Run

Several Stanford recruits are still playing football this weekend, but for Oklahoma City (Okla.) athlete Bryan McCann, the season ended abruptly in September. The 5'11" burner broke his leg, cutting short an exciting season as well as any expansion of his offer list. McCann's road to recovery has been steady, now picking up steam. Similarly, he is now moving down the road toward his college decision.

The last time we talked to you about Bryan McCann, the Oklahoma athlete was off to an electric start to his senior season.  A game-changing playmaker on offense, defense and special teams for the Putnam City High School Pirates, McCann recorded six touchdowns in the first three games of the year.  Four times he found the endzone on offense, and another two times he scored on special teams returns.  McCann added an interception and fumble recovery on defense.

Then in Putnam City's game against Lawton, McCann broke his leg and was finished for the year.  The senior standout had to watch the remainder of the season from the sideline.

"It bothered me, but there was not much I could do about it.  Life happens," McCann quips.  "I'm just trying to get back as soon as possible and listen to my doctor."

The Putnam City product is progressing rather well in his rehabilitation, already to the point of running sprints and more.

"I'm back running, backpedaling and doing football movements," he describes.  "Honestly, I felt like I was running fine."

Before he could run, McCann had to walk again.  Similarly, he has taken a careful approach to his recruitment.  He took just one official visit through November, with his final three remaining trips scheduled for December and January.  This weekend he is at SMU; next weekend he will make the short trip to TulsaStanford will welcome him January 13.  The only early official visit he took came in October to Northwestern.

"It was fine," McCann comments on the Evanston experience.  "I enjoyed myself.  I got to meet the coaches and players.  The visit did not completely turn me off.  It was my first visit, and I don't have much to compare yet."

McCann has maintained since the summer that his official visits will make his decision for him.  His favorites extended him offers long ago and have been consistently recruiting him.  He has heard their messages, time and time again.  Now it is time to see if the reality at these schools can match the descriptions delivered to him.

"I just want to see how the team operates - if they have a unified program," McCann details.  "At a lot of places, football is a job.  It really is a job.  I want to know if the coaches and players have good relations, to make the job enjoyable and worthwhile."

Stanford has to wait more than a month before they can host the cornerback recruit, but the Cardinal have come twice these past two weeks to visit him.  Inside linebackers coach Darrell Patterson was in town Wednesday of this week and Tuesday of last week.

"We haven't had too many questions, honestly.  My dad and I looked up a lot of things on the Internet already," McCann shares.  "We did ask about what the coaches are like, what the players are like.  Coach Patterson says that they are more laid back and teach - not one of those staffs that just yells all the time."

Another topic of conversation has been McCann's admissions application.  The student-athlete wrapped up his portions of the application packet a month ago but has been waiting on a pair of teacher recommendations.

"I've kind of been sitting back and waiting on that, but it might be time now to turn up the heat a little bit," he laughs.

While his admissions answer and official visit to The Farm remain in the future, Bryan McCann has gathered enough information and had enough interactions with the Cardinal coaches to formulate some opinions on Stanford.

"There are pros and cons everywhere.  One problem is that Stanford is a long way from home, of course," he begins.  "One thing that impressed me was how they did this year.  When a new coaching staff comes into a situation like that, usually you expect a bad season.  A Stanford degree also carries a lot of weight in the real world.  It helps you make a lot of ties."

As has been the case every time Stanford recruits in the Sooner State, distance is front and center on the mind of McCann and his family.

"Even if I just go up the street to Tulsa... We were looking at their schedule recently, and I wouldn't be able to come home hardly at all," he offers.  "My dad said it would hurt for him to not be able to come to all of my games if I go away from home, but he told me that I have to look at what is best for me.  And honestly, Stanford would be in my best interest in the long run.  All those ties you can make are worth a lot."

Excited about the Cardinal connections he could make for life, McCann still has to measure his connection with the coaches and players, which is more than a month away.  His injury-shortened season curtailed his on-field news and derailed any growth of his offer list this fall, but this cornerback recruit has been atop Stanford's cornerback wish list since they offered in the spring.  Bryan McCann's story is an important one we will continue to track.  Stay tuned.

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