Patience Pays Off

Stanford has landed important players for its football program through the years in late January. Sometimes it is a matter of the Cardinal waiting for a blue chip recruit to make his decision near Signing Day, but other times it is the prospect who receives the good news after anxiously waiting. One of the latter stories played out this past weekend for a recruit on his Stanford official visit.

As enviable as the position may be for these prospective student-athletes we cover, with multiple Division I scholarship opportunities at their fingertips, there is also the unenviable waiting game that many have to endure.  In many cases, long after they have their hearts set on attending Stanford, recruits have to sit and wait patiently for their application to pass muster with the Admissions Office.  Stanford alumni reading this story may have trouble feeling sorry for those recruits.  After all, tens of thousands of alumni have had to wait for the "fat envelope" hit their mailbox before they could matriculate at Stanford.

The game is a little more pressured for prospective student-athletes, who have fluid circumstances surrounding their recruitment that can and often do change by the day.  An offer today may be gone tomorrow, if you don't commit to us, young man...  Wait just a little while longer, son, and we'll have a scholarship for you.

For Austin Yancy, the waiting game has been long and arduous.  The League City (Tex.) Clear Creek High School wide receiver camped at Stanford in June, already longing to be a Cardinal.  He performed well enough in front of the Cardinal coaching staff to remain on Stanford's recruiting board at wideout, though with further evaluation to come during his senior season.

Meanwhile, Yancy went to work on his Stanford admissions application.  Ranked 11th in his senior class of 755 at Clear Creek and boasting a 1930 on the new SAT, he had strong numbers but knew full well that no scores were impervious against the scrutiny of the Admissions Office at The Farm.  Yancy submitted his completed application, with much care and pride, just before the holidays.  As the New Year arrived, he grew anxious.

The 6'3.5" athlete held one scholarship offer at the end of 2005, handed to him by Mike Price at UTEP.  Two weekends ago, Yancy took his official visit to SMU and picked up his second scholarship.  But there was still no news of his admissions status with Stanford, much less his scholarship fortunes.  When we spoke with Yancy on Thursday night before he flew out to The Farm this past weekend for his official visit, there was a distinct twinge of anxiety and perhaps frustration.  Signing Day was right around the corner, and no news was starting to sound like bad news.

Then it all happened at once.  While sitting with his parents in the office of Stanford head coach Walt Harris on Saturday, Yancy received the word he had long awaited.

"He informed us that I had been accepted by the school and had a scholarship offer," Yancy tells.  "I was kind of in shock.  I had waited so long, and Stanford had been my dream school since I was little."

"We were ecstatic," he continues.  "I talked with my parents a little about it, and then I told Coach [Tom] Hayes that night that I was committing."

Austin Yancy became Stanford's 15th verbal commitment for the 2006 scholarship recruiting class, though do not be too quick to pencil him in at wide receiver.  Talk has turned in recent weeks for Hayes, who is not only the area recruiter for the Houstonian but also Stanford's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, and the Cardinal of Yancy as a possible safety at Stanford.

"I think the main thing that I've heard from the coaches is that they like my athletic ability and my physical play on offense," the recruit relates.  "The coaches on both sides like me pretty well, I guess."

Yancy played strictly at wide receiver in Clear Creek's spread offense in 2005, catching 35 passes for 400+ yards and three touchdowns.  He has size, a solid frame and good athleticism.  Yancy is an accomplished high jumper and triple jumper, which helps speak to his overall athletic ability.

But his excitement today has nothing to do with which side of the ball he will know when he arrives on The Farm this summer.  Yancy is instead reveling in his admission and future, while also reflecting upon his experience on campus this past weekend.  The Lone Star State standout was hosted by San Antonio (Tex.) native Carlos McFall.

"Carlos was good.  It was a lot of fun," the recruit recounts.  "Really, I enjoyed getting to know the people at Stanford, and all the recruits who were there.  It was good to see all the sides of Stanford.  Everybody knows about the academics, and how amazing they are, but it was fun to be able to see all the other aspects of the people and life at Stanford."

Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our website, as well as our full-length feature articles in our glossy magazine. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with (sign-up) and The Bootleg Magazine (sign-up)!

The Bootleg Top Stories