WR Sean Bailey

Sean Bailey is one of the top receivers in the nation, and arguably the top in the state of Georgia in this rising senior class. Though two regional schools are looking hard to beat, recent Stanford football recruiting has taught that the Georgia pipeline to Palo Alto is not to be underestimated. Here is the skinny on Bailey, including a visit out West you hadn't heard about

WR Sean Bailey (profile)
Milton (Alpharetta, GA)
Ht: 6-1: Wt: 166
4.40 forty; 4.19 shuttle
no bench; 28.2" vertical

Simply put, Sean Bailey is a legitimately elite national wide receiver.  I said it the other week with the Mark Bradford story, but this is one position where Stanford has not traditionally recruited against the 'heavies' to pull in the elite wideouts.  Luke Powell is really the only elite receiver in recent memory, from a purely recruiting standpoint.  Certainly Stanford has pulled in some kids they have liked quite a bit, and discovered some diamonds in the rough, but the hottest of the hot receivers have not highlighted Stanford recruiting classes of late.

Sean Bailey is the son of former Atlanta Falcon and San Jose State Spartan, Stacey Bailey, who still ranks as one of the career receiving leaders in Spartan history in receptions and yardage.  FYI, the senior Bailey played from 1978 to 1981 during some of the more fierce years of the Stanford-San Jose rivalry, and was drafted in the third round into the NFL in '82.  The Baileys have stayed in Atlanta since Stacey's playing days, and that has put a heap of southern schools all over Sean.  His list of offers is long and distinguished, with blanket interest from the SEC.  This is one recruit where he is in complete control of his recruitment, given the depth and breadth of his offers.

Sean says he has no plans to commit early, at this time, and would like to go through every step of the recruiting process.  The long list would be narrowed down to 8-10 schools in September, and then down to 5 later in the fall.  Sean has had friends commit early and get "burned" by that jump.

"I definitely want to take all five visits - I want to keep all my options open."

Sean has taken some unofficials along the way, and is in the middle right now of a swing out West.  In fact, Sean told me he was scheduled to see Stanford today.  I'll be checking back with Sean after he returns to get the take on how the experience impacted him.  For now, Stanford is in a reasonable position on his list of schools, with Sean giving me seven top options: Georgia, Florida State, Stanford, Virginia, Texas, Clemson and Florida.

Though Sean has had and still has a clear top two schools of interest in Georgia and Florida State.  He grew up a fan of the Seminoles, and became a big Bulldog fan when Mark Richt headed to Athens for the lead job.  Sean is both familiar and very comfortable with both coaching staffs today.  He has additionally taken a few visits to UGA, which he has enjoyed a lot.

"The coaches and players are really nice.  It's just one hour away, and you know they are going to be a contender.  Plus, the receiver position is opening up."

I followed up on the distance comment, and Sean said that he sees it as "just an extra bonus."  According to him, it isn't an important part of his decision process.

Nevertheless, I see Stanford as a clear underdog in this race, and this is an example where Buddy Teevens is taking a run at an elite talent even though many signs point toward great difficulty in pulling him in.  Stanford is going to lose some, if not many, of these battles, but it's admirable and productive to take the shots.

On the subject of Stanford, Sean said that he has spoken with Buddy Teevens twice and David Kelly several times.  Stanford offered him some time ago, and he referred to the two men as "great guys" in a "program on the rise."  Much of the talk has been about the unique recruiting process of admissions at Stanford, for which Sean may be fairly positioned.  He says he is carrying approximately a 90% average in the classroom with a 1150 SAT score.  Both of Sean's parents stressed to him at an early age the importance of academics, and tied his football opportunities to them.  He once got a 'C' on a report card in 5th grade, and they made him sit out for a couple weeks of football.  He has learned his lesson and avoided that ever since.  His father has further reinforced the message that even should Sean make it to the NFL some day, he could blow out his knee right away.

"When you graduate from Stanford, you have the best of both worlds.  It is the best place to play college football for both academics and athletics.  I mean, people come out of that school and make hundreds of thousands of dollars in their jobs."

In looking at the academics of his interest schools, Sean has identified Stanford and Virginia as the top educational opportunities.  When it comes to the football side of the equation, he would like a school that passes the ball a lot, and where he isn't stuck behind a backlog of receivers.  Sean particularly noted that the depth of young receivers is the one great downside to Florida State, given how many he says they recruit every year.  Stanford has a deep core of receivers as well, though they are stacked well ahead of this recruiting class.  In fact, the Cardinal will not have a receiver in the class entering this fall, and there could be as few as one receiver in this current class.  If you're Stanford and you're fighting uphill against FSU and UGA, this is the crack in the dam against the 'Noles.

Bailey's high school team runs a wing-T offense and does not throw the ball with any regularity, so his stats arguably understate his abilities.  Sean reports that he caught 32 balls for 720 yards in his junior season, which does bespeak his outrageous big play ability.  9 TDs in the air, plus one on the ground, impress as well.  When Sean attended the Nike Camp in Athens this spring, he grabbed the camp's attention with his 4.40 forty time.  That time was the second fastest at the camp, just one hundredth of a second behind the top time.  His senior goals include taking his Milton brethren to a Georgia state championship, and catching at least 50 passes.

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