College coaches, when recruiting, often like to find "the perfect fit," a prospect who produces both on the field and off it and who will be a good representative of the university.
Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista receiver Ryan Whalen (6-1, 195), more than covers the off-the-field ideals that a college is looking for. That much has been done for as long as he has been in school. But Whalen is also turning into the type of prospect on the field that college coaches like to have in their program.
An honors student, Whalen has had a strong start to the 2006 season, helping Monte Vista to a 3-0 record thanks to 23 catches for six touchdowns and 380 yards in the first three games.
Now all he needs is his first offer.
"I've been hearing from Cal, Stanford, Oregon and a couple of other Pac-10 schools like Arizona, UCLA and Washington. Also, Boise State, Utah, Air Force, Navy, Idaho, the Ivy Leagues," Whalen reports. "I've been starting communication with these schools, sending out tape to them. Now I just want someone to step up [and offer], but I can't really worry about it. I have to just keep focusing on football."
That said, Whalen does think that two schools could be close to pulling the trigger and giving him his much awaited first offer.
"Stanford and Oregon could be really close," Whalen opines. "I like Stanford for football but also because of the school. They pass a lot, and I know that all programs turn it around. Nate Nelson is recruiting me for Stanford."
Whalen is also looking at Cal, and the Bears are another possible option, though they have received one commitment in this class from a receiver, Alex Lagemann from Saratoga. Oregon, who has had success in the Bay Area historically, is another school that intrigues Whalen.
"Cal has better football right now," Whalen states. "I've talked to Coach Ferrigno and Coach Gregory the most from there. Coach Allioti has been recruiting me from Oregon."
Whalen has attended home games at each of the Bay Area schools, taking in the Bears' home opening victory over Minnesota and Stanford's stadium opening loss to Navy.
An excellent student, Whalen is carrying a 4.2 weighted GPA, having taken three honors classes as a junior and two AP classes this fall. He scored a 1920 on the SAT.
"Academics is definitely going to be important for me," Whalen declares. "I've worked hard in school my whole life, and it is one of those things that will always be there for me in the end. I'm looking for both a good football program and good academics."
Stanford has told Whalen that an application for admission is on its way.
"They said they would be sending one out, so I should be getting it soon and I'll get to work on it," says Whalen.
Despite his favorites being close to home, Whalen maintains that he is not restricted to the Bay Area.
"My family is supportive of what I do either way - staying close or leaving," Whalen offers.
And though he's waiting for that first offer, he doesn't anticipate quickly jumping at the first one that should come his way.
"I think I'm going to have some options," Whalen muses. "Once one school offers, I think others will step up. I would like to take a few [trips] because there are definitely some places that I want to look at. I'll have a better perspective of schools when I visit. But I play basketball so I need to see what my schedule lets me do."
With a young, talented quarterback calling the offense for Monte Vista, 2008 top prospect Drew McAllister, Whalen is benefiting from a more air-oriented offense. McAllister has thrown 71 balls in three games for 717 yards already. That should come as little surprise from the school and coach (Craig Bergman) that produced 2003 passing phenom Kyle Wright, ranked #2 in the nation in his class and currently in his second year starting at Miami.
"Our coaches have more confidence throwing the ball with Drew, so I'm getting good passes thrown my way," Whalen says.
This Friday, Monte Vista will visit Foothill.
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