'09 Unwrapped: Allan Bridgford

The pace of college football recruiting is accelerating, and Stanford is not immune. The Cardinal recently extended a verbal offer to Allan Bridgford, the acclaimed Class of 2009 quarterback at Mission Viejo (Calif.) High School. Bridgford talks about his excitement for the offer, two generations of ties to The Farm and his upcoming season.

Mission Viejo (Calif.) High School has been good to Stanford the past two recruiting seasons, the Cardinal snagging the top kicker in the country in the class of 2007 in David Green and picking up a commitment from 2008 receiver Warren Reuland.

So it's no surprise that Jim Harbaugh continues to scour the Orange County school for more potential prospects for the Cardinal, and in the last couple of weeks, Jim Harbaugh offered the Diablos' junior-to-be quarterback, Allan Bridgford (6-4, 185).

"It happened the Wednesday before last," says Bridgford.  "The official letter will come on September 1.  They had been recruiting me for a while.  I met Coach Harbaugh and he watched some of my film.  I went up to one of their camps during this summer and met with the coaches.  I threw in front of Coach [Tim] Drevno and the offensive coordinator [David Shaw].  After they evaluated, they offered."

But with only half of his high school career complete, Bridgford says he is in no rush to make a college decision.

"I'm going to take some time," he offers.  "Stanford is a great school and things can always change, but I don't see myself committing until before my senior season.  Maybe this time next year."

Still, Bridgford says the offer from Stanford made an impact.

"It was flattering," Bridgford admits.  "I can't explain how happy I was.  Coach Harbaugh said he could hear me smiling through the phone."

From an academic standpoint, Bridgford reports a GPA 3.5.  He is planning to take his tests this fall.

Stanford's offer also meant something to his family, with the history the Bridgford family has with the Cardinal well documented.

"My dad went there and so did my grandpa and my aunt," Bridgford describes.  "My dad graduated with a 4.0, but he would never pressure me to go there.  We both understand it's a great school, but he's not going to pressure me."

While his dad may not, Bridgford jokes that Reuland is working on him.

"I haven't really talked to David [Green] since he left, but Warren definitely is talking Stanford up.  Every day I hear about it from Warren," he laughs.

Though the Cardinal were the first to offer, Bridgford says that a handful of other schools have showed interest in him.

"I've talked to Colorado, USC, Notre Dame and UCLA," the quarterback comments.  "I've camped at USC and Notre Dame.  And Nebraska is another school I'd list."

Bridgford will be a part of what's already becoming a highly touted Class of 2009 in the quarterback ranks from the Golden State.  He was the fourth passer in that class to receive an offer prior to his junior year, and he'll join Mater Dei's Matt Barkley and Los Alamitos' Clark Evans in a stellar crop from the O.C.

"I've known Matt since before 8th grade when I met him at a camp, and I've known Clark since we were in second grade. We went to Santa Margarita camp and met there. We're good buds," Bridgford says.  "It's pretty cool that we're all in the same class. It will be a lot of fun."

Even with the traditional star power at Mission Viejo, Bridgford says he's been able to stay grounded and even counts some of the previous Diablo passers as mentors.

"I'm good friends with R.J. Toman (New Hampshire) and talk to Mark Sanchez (USC) often.  They are good role models for me," Bridgford judges.  "I just take things one play at a time.  Our coaches do a good job of making sure we keep a small head."

During the summer, Bridgford and his Mission teammates won their own passing league tournament and lost in the semifinals of the loaded Dana Hills tournament as well as the Nike 7-on-7 Passing Tournament.

"Passing league helps, and we always try to win, but what really matters is the season," says the signal caller.

And he'll get a chance to help the Diablos rebound from a surprisingly short season in 2006, when they lost in the quarterfinals to Santa Margarita.

"We have been thinking about it all year," Bridgford admits.  "Our schedule is pretty strong.  We fly out to Ohio to play Moeller [in the Herbstreit Challenge].  We get De La Salle as well as a couple of San Diego schools [La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad and Vista].  Then our big league game against San Clemente."

Last year as a sophomore, Bridgford took the reins for the Diablos in game six and threw for 1,642 yards and 15 touchdowns with only three picks in leading the Diablos to another South Coast League title.

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