Recruits React: Mitchell Schwartz

A number of reviews coming from Cardinal recruits and commits this week have remained resoundingly positive, in the wake of Stanford firing head coach Walt Harris. The most immediate adverse impact felt for Stanford looks to be offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz. He is the lone recruit previously scheduled for an official visit to The Farm this weekend who is now having second thoughts.

Pacific Palisades (Calif.) Palisades Charter High School offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz (6-5, 300) was scheduled to visit Stanford this weekend, but with the firing of Cardinal coach Walt Harris, those plans may be on hold.

"As of right now, I really don't know," says Schwartz.  "I still might take it [this weekend], but I'm not completely sure.  Or I think I could wait until after they hire a coach - that could be a possibility."

Schwartz says he got word about Harris' departure on Monday almost as soon as the information became public.

"Coach [Tom] Freeman called me and broke the news.  Then the athletic director called, and then the recruiting coordinator called," the recruit relays.  "I had an idea it might happen, but I thought they would at least give him three [years].  But they had to do what is best for the school.  Before Monday, I had heard he was going to have a meeting with the athletic director, but that is all I knew."

Schwartz says that the lack of stability in the past few seasons of Stanford could be a factor in his decision.

"I think it will be another factor," he admits.  "Stanford is a perfect example; in five years they've had three coaches.  There is so much unpredictability.  So you have to look at them differently, kind of wait and see and then go from there."

With Harris fired, there are questions about the assistant coaches on the staff, and that has weighed on Schwartz' mind.

"With Coach Freeman, I don't think he really knows right now what he's going to do," Schwartz reports.  "He said he kind of wants to stay at Stanford, but usually a staff goes as a whole."

Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby called Schwartz on Monday night and relayed what his process was going to be.

"He said he wanted to hire a guy in the next couple weeks," Schwartz tells us.  "But a new coach has to hire assistants, and I don't know if that will be done by the end of the year.  It's hard to just commit to an undecided situation, especially with some good other choices."

As for the official visit that Schwartz was planning to take to Palo Alto this weekend, if he doesn't travel north as scheduled, he still could take it at a later date.

"I've seen Stanford and Oregon enough that I wouldn't have to take an official visit there," Schwartz shares.  "But I still could take it this weekend or later when a coach is hired."

The firing also has the potential to change Schwartz' decision date.

"I did want to announce by Christmas, and that would have been nice, but now with this news, I may wait," Schwartz allows.  "I could take a trip to Stanford in January, if that's what works out best for me.  But if I don't take that long, then the opportunity might be lost."

Schwartz has visited California and Virginia previously.

"Cal was a great visit and they're doing a really good job this year," Schwartz comments.  "Virginia - it was very good.  My family is supporting me wherever I go."

Meanwhile, the recruit's older brother, Geoff Schwartz, continues to help him with the process but isn't doing anything to pitch his school, Oregon.

"Nah, he's not really trying to pitch them at all," says the younger Schwartz.  "He's always been about the best school possible for me.  It's been great to have him."

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