WR/DB Sam Cheatham

One of the better Bay Area prospective recruits in this 2003 football class is Sam Cheatham. He paired up with QB Dennis Dixon this past season for big numbers and big plays at San Leandro, with Sam also impressing as a defensive back. I got the chance to talk with him at the recent Nike Camp, and have also have updates on his recruitment since then...

WR/DB Sam Cheatham (profile)
San Leandro (San Leandro, CA)
Ht: 5-9: Wt: 160
4.51 forty; 4.34 shuttle
9 bench reps; 30.1" vertical

Sam is part of a rather famous passing connection at San Leandro, where Dennis Dixon has been throwing bombs to Sam Cheatham with wild success.  The two came out together to visit Stanford unofficially during spring football, and both are receiving recruiting attention from the Cardinal.  Though Dixon has garnered more of the spotlight this spring in West Coast recruiting, Sam Cheatham is the better ball-player right now in my eyes.  Dixon's fame comes from his unmatched athleticism for a quarterback his size, but he is truly raw with a long way to go before he can safely take snaps in the Pac-10.  Cheatham is a strong athlete in is right, catching balls at a 23-yard average his junior year and returning three picks for scores on defense.  Greg Biggins has just come out with his highly regarded West Coast receiver rankings, and has tabbed Cheatham as the #9 wideout out West, and this in a very unusually deep receiver class.  CalHi Sports named Sam second team all-state as an underclassman multi-purpose player, which by comparison puts him in fine company alongside Emeka Nnoli.

It is unclear whether Stanford is recruiting Sam as a receiver or defensive back - or both.  Though Sam's more widely recruited position is at wide receiver currently (ranked #40 in the nation by the new Insiders rankings), Stanford does have much more need in this class for corners.  My hunch is that Sam is on the board at both positions, or as an 'athlete.'

I had the chance to grab Sam quickly at the end of the recent Nike Camp on Stanford's campus, and this is what he had to say about his day and recruiting progress...

The Bootleg:  Well, Sam, how do you feel you did today?
Sam Cheatham: Today was a good workout.  You know, I've been kind of rusty lately.  Feels good to be back in the game.  I think I got a good workout today.

The Bootleg:  How did your times and numbers fare today, if you don't mind sharing?
Sam Cheatham: My times went fairly well.  I think I could improve on them and do better.  That's pretty much my baseline from where I can do better.  They were pretty good.

The Bootleg: Which side of the ball did you workout today - DB or receiver?
Sam Cheatham: Receiver.

The Bootleg: How did the drills go for you?  Did you pick up anything today?
Sam Cheatham: Oh yes, definitely.  I learned how to run my routes a little sharper; how to read the defense.  I dropped a couple footballs and need to come back a little better to catch those balls.

The Bootleg: Obviously, you had a heck of a group of quarterbacks out here today.  It has to help to have a group of guys like that throwing to you.
Sam Cheatham: Definitely.  There was a different variety.  I'm used to my quarterback, Dennis (Dixon), and he was looking good out there.  He didn't throw it to me, but there were a lot of good quarterbacks out there.

The Bootleg: The other unique thing about this Nike Camp is obviously all the coaches here.  Is there anybody in particular whom you were hoping to impress today with your performances?
Sam Cheatham: Some of the coaches I had talked to on the phone, and they told me they were coming out here to see me today, and take a look at me to hopefully show them what I can do in person.

The Bootleg: Who are some of those schools who you have heard the most from right now?
Sam Cheatham: Colorado, mostly.  LSU, Oregon State and Kansas State. 

The Bootleg: Are there any other schools outside that group who you are hoping to hear more from?
Sam Cheatham: I want to hear more from Oregon, more from the Floridas - you know, Florida, Florida State and Miami.  And most of the teams in the Pac-10

The Bootleg: Can you talk about those teams in the Pac-10 - who do you like?  Who do you feel good about?  Who has shown you the most interest?
Sam Cheatham: I feel good about - I like Stanford.  They're really good.  I've been here a couple times to check it out.  I've been to a couple practices.  They have good facilities.  I like UCLA.  I've been down there because of Jarrad Page - he goes there and was one of me teammates.  We checked it out with him, and it's a good school.  Even though I haven't been to Oregon yet, I really want to check that out, too.

The Bootleg: You mentioned coming out watching practices at Stanford, and I believe you came out with Dennis to watch some of spring ball.  What was your impression of what you got to see?
Sam Cheatham: To tell you the truth, I really like the receivers coach.  He emphasizes a lot of things I never knew about.  I learned a lot just by watching him.  I hadn't seen the campus before, but this is great.  This is just the practice field, and then you have everything else.  You have a good coaching staff, and they're a good school.

The Bootleg: What are some of the top criteria for you as you look to compare this wide list of schools?
Sam Cheatham: Pretty much, it doesn't matter to me about the distance or weather.  Pretty much academics because I want to go into engineering.  I want a good engineering program.

The Bootleg: Do you know what kind of engineering you are looking to study?
Sam Cheatham: Not yet.  I'm still trying to figure that out.  Basically engineering, and a good athletic department that takes care of their players.

The Bootleg: Well, when we talk about academics and a place like Stanford with its admissions requirements, you need a strong academic profile.  Would you mind talking about what your grades and SAT have been like so far?
Sam Cheatham: Well, my grades have been really good.  But I have to boost up my SAT.  I pretty much got a 930 on my SAT, but that was my first time taking the test and I was pretty nervous.  But I'm taking it again and I'm taking it again.  I'll probably get it up in the 1000's.  My grades are fine, though - they're really good.

The Bootleg: What is your GPA, if you don't mind sharing?
Sam Cheatham: 4.0.

The Bootleg: Excellent.  When you are taking the SAT again?
Sam Cheatham: June.

The Bootleg: Are you sticking around here tomorrow for the Stanford Junior Day?
Sam Cheatham:
 No, I wanted to, but I have a lot of work to do for school.

The Bootleg: What else are you going to look at, as you sort out your recruitment between th


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