Jordy Lipsey: Center of Attention

Offensive line is still an area of focus for Stanford, so you will be happy to learn that arguably the most elite Stanford recruit in this class could fill the greatest need. Center Jordy Lipsey from Altamonte Springs, Florida is being hailed as the greatest in the country at his position. So how can Stanford pull someone that prized away from Miami and the Floridas?...

C Jordy Lipsey (profile)
Lake Brantley (Altamonte Springs, FL)
Ht: 6-4  Wt: 270
no Nike numbers

My one great failing in covering this recruiting 2003 football recruiting class has undeniably the offensive line.  I haven't brought you a single story on the big, bad beefcake.  This shortfall is rather ironic, given how much attention I have paid to Stanford's offensive line the past couple of years, and with the last OL recruiting class.  They are crucial to the Stanford offense's success, and this OL class is paramount for the overall success of the class.

But I can not think of a single individual who would start off The Bootleg's coverage of offensive line recruiting with a greater bang than center Jordy Lipsey of Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Spring, Florida (that's greater Orlando to those who are geographically challenged with the Sunshine State).  Lipsey is currently ranked as the #3 offensive lineman in the entire country, but more importantly as the #1 center in the land by The Insiders recruiting network.  Jamie Newberg has recently received film on Lipsey, and he is still scrambling for superlatives.  In short, Jamie rates the Florida wunderkind as one of the best center he has ever seen.  As elite an OL recruit as Kwame Harris was for Stanford three years ago, so too is Jordy Lipsey in this class.

To highlight the importance of Lipsey in this class, consider Stanford's current prospects at center.  Fifth year senior Tom Kolich projects to start at center in September for Stanford's opener, and redshirt freshman Brian Head will back him up.  It is not yet clear whether Head will be best suited at guard or center for Stanford down the road, but necessity puts him over the pigskin this fall.  The incoming freshman class has seven linemen on board, though my estimation is that there are no naturally gifted centers yet clear in that group.  The stars look bright at tackle and guard, but that special center is still in need.  So for someone so elite to come along in this class at this time, with a 3.7 GPA and 1130 SAT... well, it's the stuff of milk and honey.

To put the cherry at the top of the proverbial sundae, Stanford is in good shape with Lipsey.  He says that "Stanford is definitely at the top," with five schools lagging behind the Card.  Those five are Virginia, Northwestern, Tennessee, Miami and Florida.  I quick look at that list send an immediate signal that Stanford will be fighting a tough battle against the juggernauts in the state, and to be honest, Stanford has not recruited a truly elite player from Florida away from the superpowers in recent memory.  But looks may be deceiving, and in this case, Lipsey says that Virginia is his solid number two school right now, and my read on the situation from talking with him and his father would be that Northwestern is likely a close third.

The unifying theme is easy to grasp: academics.  Lipsey says that is foremost on his mind when looking at schools, and that is the overwhelming attraction for him with Stanford.

"It's the fact that a degree from there means so much.  They also have good football.  This isn't Ivy League football - they are in the Pac-10.  And I think they can win there - they can win the Pac-10."

Lipsey is also very cognizant of the admissions hurdle unique to Stanford, and he is itching to get it out of the way.  His admissions application is just about complete and should go in the mail any day.  In talking with the young man, it is evident that the results of that application will be pivotal to his entire recruitment.  The yay or nay decision he will hear back will likely be the catalyst for deciding on his top three schools.  Lipsey would like to make an early decision and not stretch out this process, but he does very much want to get a few visits in before deciding.  He says he could take all five, but really feels like three could suffice.

On the one hand, Lipsey is excited about the unique teammates and student body he would encounter at Stanford.

"They are a different kind of kid, but I like that.  You are surrounded with other people who also got admitted to Stanford.  It would be cool to be with people like that.  And the professors there, they would see me as a student who was admitted to Stanford.  At other schools, you are just a football player on campus."

But on the other hand, he wants to make sure that the people at Stanford are going to be fun for those years, and that he feels a certain comfort level.  Therein lies the value of the official visit for him.  He wants to just get to hang out with the guys and see what Stanford students do.

Note that Lipsey has been to Stanford before, though.  He came out during spring ball and got to watch one of the Saturday scrimmages.  There were a few encounters with players, but he knows that he just scratched the surface on getting a read on the Stanford experience.

Stepping back to today, Lipsey is working hard during the summer to improve on his body and abilities.  His team works out Monday through Thursday with lifting, but Lipsey doubles up with his own additional workouts Monday through Friday.  He says he has no particular areas of his body to work on, and he is happy with his current weight of 270 pounds.  But he generally wants to get "more toned, more solid."

Out of the weight room, the center is also working with a speed coach to improve his quickness.  For someone who has been reported to have 80 pancakes and grading out at 92% during his junior year (though Lipsey will tell you he doesn't know who kept those stats), this is a young man awfully determined to improve himself.  He feels good about his quickness, but feels that improving with sprints will help his footwork and short-range quickness.

This is also a lineman who has excelled at both run and pass blocking.  Earning his superlative reputation isn't enough, though.

"The praise makes me feel good, but it hasn't really sunk in yet.  It all just feels like words right now.  I don't actually feel like the best lineman in the country.  But that is what I am working toward this year.  I want to the be number one in the country and a first team All-American."

On top of that, Jordy Lipsey wants to raise his consistency and shoot for as close to a mistake-free season as possible.  He rejects the idea of achieving perfection, but at the same time, you can't help in talking with him in believing that is the exact goal he is working toward.  Don't bet against him.

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