When recruits and their families arrived on Friday to kick off this past official visit weekend, they quickly embarked on a flurry of activities. Checking out classes, meeting with administrators, devouring a fine Italian dinner, watching a Cardinal Basketball victory over California, and an evening of social time around campus. Come Saturday morning, it was time for everyone to come together and take their breath at a sit-down brunch. Several greetings had been exchanged the day before, but a more formal round-robin of introductions were made by the recruits and their families.
When the sweep made its way to Richard Sherman, the 6'2" two-way athlete from Compton (Calif.) Dominguez High School stood up to declare more than his name.
"I was waiting for the right time this weekend," he explains. "Everyone was there, so I thought this was the right time. We were announcing ourselves, so I thought that was a spotlight moment. I introduced my parents and then said, 'I would like to commit to Stanford University.'"
"Everyone started clapping. It was cool," Sherman reports. "Afterward people came up to shake my hand. It was great moment."
The timing was an unknown, though the end result offered little surprise. Since the time of his first unofficial in May, the Dominguez standout has favored the Cardinal. Stanford's stranglehold on Sherman intensified through the fall, and he was primed to commit once he could clear the school's admissions application process. That day in December when Richard Sherman was accepted to Stanford was the true landmark event in this recruitment for both the recruit and his family as well as the Cardinal coaching staff.
The lack of suspense not mean that the SoCal student-athlete was unable to wrap himself in a memorable visit this past weekend. Sherman had been to The Farm several times before, but he found new things on this extended and more eventful trip.
"The tour of campus was the highlight because we got to see everything," Sherman shares. "They showed me the dorms - they showed me the freshman dorms - which I had not really seen before. I got to see a lot of new things I didn't know. I think it will be a great place. Everybody seemed really nice to me."
We knew to expect his commitment, but why did Richard Sherman decide Stanford was where he wanted to call home for the next four years?
"Because it has everything I need," he answers. "I believe that I can play early there. I believe that there will be no problem with the academics for me, while I get the best education. And I love the coaching staff."
The weekend also gave Sherman the opportunity to better meet and get to know the current Cardinal student-athletes. The pride of the Compton Unified School District was hosted by Mark Bradford, who three years ago came to The Farm on his own official visit with a similar background from the Los Angeles Unified School district. It was no surprise that the two hit it off well.
"Mark, he was great. He told me how it will be when I show up," Sherman offers. "He told me about the social life, what practices will be like for me at first, the conditioning - just a lot of stuff."
The duo will become even more familiar with each other in a matter of months, when Sherman joins the thin wide receiver ranks at Stanford. Or he lines up across Bradford as a cover cornerback. Or both. What makes Richard Sherman such a highly celebrated addition to this 2006 Cardinal recruiting class is his size, athleticism, and versatility. Dire need at both receiver and cornerback for Stanford in this class cannot be understated, and Sherman has a chance to star on either side of the ball. He has in fact been told by Walt Harris that he could have an opportunity to both both at some point in his career. But if the sit-down Sherman had with Harris this weekend is any indicator, we might expect the 6'2" athlete to take his first snaps on The Farm on offense.
"He showed me tapes of Larry Fitzgerald and talked about how to catch the ball over your shoulder," the recruit relates. "Coach Harris really knows wide receivers. He really knows what he's talking about - you can tell. He's very comfortable with that. He's a real cool dude."
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