QB Albert Chester (profile)
Episcopal (Jacksonville, FL)
Ht: 5-10.5: Wt: 175
4.56 forty; 4.21 shuttle
15 bench reps; 30.7" vertical
Albert Chester is one of the more unknown quarterbacks with Stanford grades and abilities in this class, but he is far from unknown to residents of Florida. Though Albert plays at one of the smaller schools, Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, his athleticism has caught a lot of folks' eyes. How he has pushed forward the Episcopal program has brought him acclaim as well, guiding his team to the playoffs for the first time his sophomore season, followed by a 9-1 result this past junior year. He is regarded as arguably the top player in Jacksonville right now, with serious athletic potential.
His Nike Camp performance this spring helped reflect on that athleticism, with a top 20 time (4.56) in the forty yard dash, and the third best time at the camp with a 4.21 second shuttle run. He has been reported to run a 4.45 forty, as well. The word on this kid is that his athleticism is honestly exceptional among high school quarterbacks, with speed and quickness that might run circles around Randy Fasani - the most athletic quarterback at Stanford to date. He has a very strong arm to match, and is reputed to be the single strongest player on his team. But size is a big concern (note his Nike Camp measured height above, versus his listed height by many recruitniks at 6'0"), and he is not a proven or polished thrower that can stand up to a TC Ostrander, for example. There are some people in the recruiting world who project him as an 'athlete' recruit, or as a best fit with an option program. Then again, the story of Michael Vick continues to remind you can put your program at the brink of a national championship with a quarterback who is an athlete first, and thrower second.
When I asked Albert about the questions of his size, he gave two replies. The first is that he is still growing. The second cited players like Michael Vick, Steve Young and Drew Brees, who lack the size of a prototypical quarterback, but have used their feet and minds to make plays happen and create problems for defenses.
Chester's junior year stats reflected his dual-threat abilities, throwing for better than 1700 yards and 16 touchdowns while running for 500 yards and another 10 scores. His sophomore year, he also broke 2000 total yards with a total of 22 touchdowns. His achievements helped earn him an honorable mention spot on the Class 2A all-state team in Florida, as voted by the state's sports writers.
Albert also has strong academics to match this football abilities, which makes it no surprise that his list of schools in contact with him includes Stanford, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and West Point.
By the by, the name of Albert Chester is a familiar one to Floridians, with his father of the same name as a Florida A&M legend. The elder Chester was a 3-year starting QB for the Rattlers with a total record of 29-4-2, including a 23-1 record over his final two seasons and a Division I-AA national championship.
The younger Albert just returned from an extended visit to Stanford, stretching from Tuesday to Saturday. He spent most of his first day just touring the campus, and he was flat-out blown away.
"It was like I was in heaven. It was almost scary, it was so amazing. The place was too good to be true."
On day two, he participated in a football camp at Stanford. Though maybe his most memorable football experience came when he had the chance to work out with JJ Stokes and Troy Walters. It was a fun and thrilling experience for him, though he was "a little nervous at first." He especially was taken aback at how fast they broke off their routes, which took some adjustment for him.
During the visit, he had several talks with many coaches, but the more in-depth conversations were with Buddy Teevens, Mike Sanford and David Kelly. He came away with very positive impressions of all of them.
Albert enjoyed the weather during his stay, which he gladly noted was pleasant but cooler than the heat of Florida. He also was able to meet some Stanford professors and talk with them during the trip. Two Stanford players he met that stood out were Casey Moore and Luke Powell, both kids who left SEC country for the long trek to Stanford.
Accompanying him on this trip were his father and grandfather, and he said they both loved Stanford. Albert has come away from Stanford with the impression that going to Stanford is a "no-brainer decision."
"I always knew it was the best place in the country for both athletics and academics. Places like Vanderbilt and Duke have academics, but they really struggle on the field. Places like Florida State have the athletics, but they just cannot fulfill what you want academically from college."
In the classroom, Albert has thus far carried a GPA in the 3.3-3.4 range, and has scored a 1070 on the SAT. He has a Stanford application in hand and is working on it currently. He is not satisfied with his SAT score and wants to take it again to raise it as a personal goal, but he plans on applying right now with this score for Stanford admissions. Albert says the Stanford staff has given him the green light to apply now, and has explained to him that there are three admissions replies he can receive: 1) accepted, 2) denied or 3) wait and monitor his academic progress his fall term of his senior year.
Albert very enthusiastically has Stanford as his top choice right now. If and when he receives an official offer after a positive admissions decision, he has zero hesitations about committing to the Cardinal. After talking with him, Albert left no room for question that Stanford is the place he wants to be for his college years. Other schools he has looked at seriously include Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Northwestern, Purdue and Florida State.
I can say that talking with this young man, he is both intelligent and a great person. There is a degree of thoughtfulness that comes through a conversation, and it really came through in talking with Albert. When I asked him about his summer plans, he further mentioned that he is volunteering three days a week at the Boys and Girls Club with younger kids. He also is helping run a camp with his high school for elementary and middle school kids. When he has time outside of these activities, he will try to run and get into better shape for his senior season. His senior year goals are more focused on the team than himself, with the aim of an undefeated season and wins over previously unbeaten rivals Hilliard and Bishop Keeny. He also wants to be more of a leader on the team, particularly with the youth prevalent on this coming fall's roster.