Meet Jeff Edwards - Part II

In the first half of my interview with Jeff, you got to learn about him as a player and person. In the second half, we dig deeper into his recruitment. It is tougher following the ebb and flow of a recruiting saga 3000 miles away, but you can now get the scoop on who really competed against Stanford for Jeff, and why he decided to come to the Farm.

The Bootleg:  What other schools gave offers, and were there one or two of them you decided against in your final decision?
Jeff Edwards:  I had offers from: Georgia Tech, UNC, Clemson, Duke, Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt. It came down to UNC, Maryland and Stanford. When Tyrone left, Maryland was looking good, but Teevens made a great impression so I made the obvious and easy choice.

The Bootleg:  It was reported early in your recruitment that you had offers from Ohio State and Georgia Tech, though neither were reported late as serious considerations late in your recruitment.  How did they disappear from your landscape, and specifically why did you knock Tech off when they were a hometown opportunity?
Jeff Edwards:  Well in Ohio State's case, I went up there an official and didn't really feel at home. Almost 80 percent of the team was from Ohio, and it just wasn't the academic challenge I thought I needed. And Tech had no hometown advantage; I wanted to leave the state. That is why Georgia did not offer - because I told them I was getting out for sure.

The Bootleg:  Did you run into Coaches Kelly and/or McCarty while you were recruited by Tech?
Jeff Edwards:  No sir. I only dealt with the line coach, and that was one of the reasons I didn't like tech. I was told I was a top recruit, yet I was never introduced to O'Leary.

The Bootleg:  What specifically did you find at Stanford that you felt you didn't find at other schools?  Can you compare and contrast the schools?
Jeff Edwards:  Obviously where else can you play competitive football, in a conference like the Pac-10, and get a top five education in the country? Notre Dame comes close, but we own their ass in football!

The Bootleg:  What ultimately sold you during your official visit weekend?  Was it Coach Teevens, the campus, the facilities, the guys on the team or maybe something else?
Jeff Edwards:  It was the total package. I felt like I clicked with the guys, and if not, at least had a lot more in common with them. Coach Teevens seemed to have things going well for only his second week on the job. Yes, and the facilities were great, plus how can one deny the beauty of this campus? The weather is just like Atlanta, but without the humidity!

The Bootleg:  Can you remember when you first thought seriously about Stanford as a possible school for your future?  What turned that switch on for you?
Jeff Edwards:  When I visited in the summer, I thought this might be the place. Then I had to wait for that ever-important offer. I can remember the day - when I got it I was so happy! Of course the only problem was I lost in overtime that night to end my season. What a day!

The Bootleg:  How did your perception of Stanford change from that first time to when you finally made your decision?
Jeff Edwards:  Not really. I guess I thought it might be a little brainy, and even though it is, the people don't show it at all.

The Bootleg:  What is some of the "negative recruiting" that you hear about Stanford in Atlanta, or that you heard from schools during your recruitment?
Jeff Edwards:  Of course travel. Hmm... Some used work load in school. Others, transition of coaches due to bad salaries. It was tough because the Maryland recruiter was Tom Brattan, who you just might remember as the O-line coach a few years back, so he knew his Stanford. He was an awesome guy, but now that I know Coach Morton I like him equally, if not better.

The Bootleg:  Did Coach Teevens talk to you about the unique responsibilities and opportunities for an offensive lineman in this new offense?  Did he also talk to you about how much opportunity there was for young linemen to come in and play?
Jeff Edwards:  Probably high pass with balanced run attack. Within two years, because at the moment, they only have nine lineman.

The Bootleg:  With your class now, there are 7 guys from Georgia on this Stanford roster in the fall.  It's a strange mystery of sorts how Palo Alto has fast become Atlanta West, so to speak.  Do you have any thoughts or reactions on that?
Jeff Edwards:  It's pure gravy. I probably would have come out here if I was the only kid east of the River. So it helps, and I am glad, but a non-factor.

The Bootleg:  Was it something you vigorously embraced, to come so far away from home, or was that a tough part of your decision?  Indeed, no other place was this far from Atlanta that recruited you.
Jeff Edwards:  Like I said, it wasn't a plus or a minus.  I was searching for the best total fit, and I would go far or near to find it.

The Bootleg:  Specifically, did you talk with Matt McClernan on your visit weekend about coming all the way out here from Georgia?
Jeff Edwards:  Yes, some, but we both agreed it was worth the sacrifice.

The Bootleg:  Did you talk with the current Atlantans on the team during your visit, and if so, what did they say about being at Stanford and in California?
Jeff Edwards:  Everyone loved California, especially Stanford. It can't be the wrong move. You know I played with Leigh Torrence, so nothing but positives.

The Bootleg:  Do you have any standout memories from your visit?  Anything that really struck you, or any fun times or moments that still make you smile?
Jeff Edwards:  Overall it was flat-out great. Matt Doyle was a big help, and everyone was so nice and it just seemed like a real extended family.

The Bootleg:  Who was your host during your visit?  Did you really connect with any of the guys on the team during your visit?
Jeff Edwards:  I had Kevin Schimmelman from Lassiter - he was off the chain. I liked him right off the bat, and he was key in introducing me to all the guys. Also I engaged with Sgroi, the kicker, and I saw him admit weekend as well. He remembered me, so it was then I knew I made a good choice.

The Bootleg:  Did you connect with any of the other recruits during that weekend visit?  If I remember correctly, every one of you committed by Saturday or Sunday, which must have been a special thing for you guys.
Jeff Edwards:  I think we all saw the potential of just our small group, plus everyone else that was filling in around us. Add that to an already young but talented team and you have something!

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