Harbaugh Hauls in Amajoyi

Rarely will recruits identify one last factor to make their college decision, but Chike Amajoyi laid out ahead of this week that his in-home visit with Jim Harbaugh would make or break Stanford in a tight battle against Tyrone Willingham and Washington. Harbaugh closed the deal Wednesday night in the San Bernardino (Calif.) Aquinas High School running back's home, landing a verbal commitment.

Jim Harbaugh's visit to Chike Amajoyi's home on Wednesday went how most coaches hope their in-home visits fare: it netted the new Stanford coach a commitment.

Amajoyi, the 6'0" 200-pound running back from Aquinas High School in San Bernardino, Calif., had to wait for his visit for Harbaugh, and he had some questions to ask the new head man of the Cardinal.  When everything was answered for him, Amajoyi told Harbaugh he'd be heading to Palo Alto in the fall.

"What it came down to was the basic overall academics that Stanford brings to the table," Amajoyi explains.  "They were ranked fourth in the nation as a school, and Washington was ranked 42nd.  Stanford is just a good fit for me."

Amajoyi, ranked by Scout.com the #45 running back prospect in the nation, didn't just focus on the football aspects of Stanford.  He closely paid attention to the academic side.

"I looked up a lot of different information about the school," Amajoyi says.  "The 7-to-1 faculty ratio was one.  There were a lot of these different tangible things that I wanted to see.  After talking with the coaches and people living there and then taking the official visit and getting to meet the players and coaches, it really helped me come to a decision."

Amajoyi says that the Cardinal staff wants him to play on offense.

"They have me coming in as a running back," says Amajoyi, who also played linebacker this fall.  "No one has commented on me moving to a different position."

Amajoyi says that he was happy to have Harbaugh come in for the in-home, especially considering the little interaction he had with former head coach Walt Harris.

"When Coach Harris was there, it was Coach [Buzz] Preston who I communicated with most of the time," the recruit relates.  "I never met Coach Harris in person.  Now, with the new staff coming in, there is a new motivation, and things will change with a new coach there.  Coach Harbaugh came, and I was really trying to get a feel for his program.  Academically, I knew that Stanford was superior to Washington.  But I had full faith in Coach Willingham.  So I was down to coming in and sitting down with Coach Harbaugh, and I know his values were my values and we have a lot in common."

Another member of Harbaugh's staff for which Amajoyi had a good feel was new running backs coach Willie Taggart.  And an important cog was recruiting coordinator Nate Nelson, the lone holdover from Harris' staff.

"The only one that I knew was Nate Nelson; every one else is new," Amajoyi offers.  "Coach Nelson stayed in touch with me throughout the process."

Amajoyi acknowledges that his father was leaning towards Washington, until Harbaugh's in-home visit won him over as well.

"Coach Willingham and his staff are doing great things and the medical school at UW is a great one, so I would have been successful had I chosen to go there.  My dad preferred Washington because he has that faith in Coach Willingham," Amajoyi describes.  "But when I committed to Stanford and to Coach Harbaugh, my dad, after speaking with Coach Harbaugh, felt comfortable that he was going to watch over me."

With recruiting taken care of, Amajoyi says he will continue with his basketball season and then turn his attention to track in the spring, where he hopes to pick his speed up.

"And I'm going to maintain grades, and do my best to keep in shape," Amajoyi adds.

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