QB TC Ostrander (profile)
Menlo-Atherton (Atherton, CA)
Ht: 6-2.5: Wt: 186
4.68 forty; 4.55 shuttle
no bench; 26.8" vertical
TC Ostrander is certainly one of the most interesting and compelling Stanford recruiting stories this year. He came into the spring as an underdog of sorts for Stanford's quarterback slot in this class, largely because he did not have a spectacular junior season. But his position almost literally in Stanford's backyard at Menlo-Atherton, along with his very high academic scores, made him someone squarely on the Cardinal's recruiting radar.
Candidly, TC says that he did not play that well his junior year. He threw for 1305 yards and 12 TDs in seven games, with a 56% completion rate. But as soon as the season ended, TC hooked up with renowned Northern California QB coach Roger Theder, who also worked with incoming Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards from Los Gatos. The work has provided palpable results for the young signal caller, particularly in polishing his mechanics.
"My footwork and drops are so much crisper now. I was all over the place before, but now the drops are more regular and crisper. I also have a quicker release, and my throws are more accurate."
On top of his improved technical abilities, TC has improved his physical abilities through strength and conditioning training at the nearby Reikes Center in Menlo Park. He has particularly improved on his sprint training and is in the process of "losing some baby fat."
The results on the field exploded when TC headed just a short jump down El Camino to Stanford's campus in May for the Nike Camp. In a field with West Coast blue chip QB prospects like Johnny DuRocher, Same Keller, Kyle Wright, Dennis Dixon, and Tom Grady, plus national names like Brett Weyman and Zach Ullrich, TC could have been lost in the crowd. But the young Ostrander had arguably the top day of this elite collection of quarterbacks, and drew a lot of positive attention from noted southern California QB coach and evaluator Bob Johnson. Ostrander then went up to Eugene for that Nike Camp this month and blew the competition away. Greg Biggins has seen Ostrander's performances at Menlo-Atherton and then both of these Nike camps, and has been a leading voice reporting on the emergence of this local boy as a nationally elite quarterback.
TC with Bob Johnson
Indeed, Biggins has put out his West Coast position ratings over the past couple of weeks, and has TC as the #4 man under center out West, ahead of names like Johhny DuRocher and Sam Keller. The new national ratings by The Insiders reflects this incredible surge for Ostrander as well, tabbing him as the #12 quarterback in the country in his class.
Concomitantly, TC Ostrander has also seen his recruitment accelerate after these performances. Prior to the Nike Camp in Palo Alto, Dennis Erickson and Oregon State provided the lone offer. Today, TC has offers Stanford, Oregon and Kansas State. Additionally, Colorado has told him they are about to offer. I would be very surprised if Virginia does not also offer when TC is on their campus this week for his unofficial visit. For a kid who just a couple of months ago buried under the pile of Northern California quarterback recruits, TC has experienced nothing short of a meteoric rise in his stock - both on the West Coast and nationally. The rise in attention has been gratifying.
"The result is that you are being shown that you worked for a purpose. It's been so sudden that the attention has almost been instant gratification."
Not only has his off-season workouts with Roger Theder and at the Reikes Center paid off, but TC plainly says that his highlight tape doesn't catch people's attention like other quarterbacks.
"People like me better in person than on tape."
TC is in the middle of a very active travel period for him, hitting several schools for day camps and unofficial visits. He hit Oregon 2 weeks ago, Stanford last Monday, USC on Tuesday and Cal on Thursday. Virginia is up next this week. TC says that his list of favorites right now includes these five schools, plus Colorado. Oregon State may have been the first to offer, which made a statement on their part before he 'blew up' with his Nike Camp performances, but that appears to have earned less currency with Ostrander than you might think. It is also notable that Cal and USC both had him on campus this week, but did not jump to make him offers. You have to wonder if and when they will jump, given that the most logical and personable opportunity has now passed for them.
TC has some family ties of note with these schools. His sister attended Cal for some time, and his father, Clint, attended Stanford and competed as a track athlete.
TC also grew up locally, just a stone's throw from Stanford Stadium, and his family has had season tickets to Cardinal games as long as he can remember. He "grew up a Stanford fan," and had "dreams while (he) was younger of playing for Stanford on that field."
In talking with the young man, it is clear that he has an emotional attachment for the local school, and he looks favorably upon the opportunity to play close to home in front of friends and family. But he insists that distance isn't foremost on his mind.
Ostrander's criteria reflect both the football program and the academics of the school. He says that all of the schools he is looking at have strong football programs, so he will look more closely at the coaching staffs, their offensive style of play, and the personnel they have on board.
When I followed up on his comment on personnel, he qualified that by saying that he wants to be part of a program with winning talent on board. That comment was not meant to indicate that he is closely watching the depth chart to find out what QBs are ahead of him. He calls that practice by recruits "foolish," particularly with the high incidence of injuries today.
Some questions he wants to get answered this summer include the direction of the programs, will the coach be staying at that school for some duration, and what is the environment and feel of the campus and overall school.
Academics "are going to be a big part of the decision" for TC, and that is another integral part of his evaluation process this summer. His interests for study in college include engineering, architecture and business right now. He has carried a 4.0 GPA through high school thus far, and has racked up a truly impressive 1460 on the SAT. TC Ostrander looks like the first slam dunk with Stanford admissions, and he indeed has Stanford's application in his hands right now. He wants to get it done as soon as possible, but says it is a little tough at this moment getting to his teachers for their recommendations during the summer.
The question with many Stanford recruits is if they can get through the admissions process, which is a private but major hurdle in their recruiting decision process. That is why you he