The past week brought three significant sets of events for Stanford recruiting. First, 3-star cornerback recruit Michael Thomas announced on Thursday evening that he has committed to Stanford. Admitted to the school the week of Thanksgiving, Thomas gives the Cardinal an athletic prospect with the potential to help early in the defensive backfield or as a return specialist. Second, as the weekend approached, recruits across the country continued to take official visits. Of particular note to Stanford, 4-star offensive line commit David DeCastro paid a courtesy visit to Washington while 3-star tight end Brett Nagel and 3-star offensive lineman Jonathan Martin made their visits to Stanford. The Stanford visit coincided with the football team's year-end banquet. Stay tuned this week for updates on these three important official visits for the 2008 Stanford recruiting class. Finally, some of the last high school football action involving Stanford recruits wrapped up this past weekend. The weekend's games included:
* Newhall (Calif.) Hart saw their season end as they fell for the first time this year in a 42-28 CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship against Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure. In addition to matching two of California's most storied programs in a game with significant implications for deciding the Southern California representative in next week's Division III California bowl championship, the game pitted Stanford running back commit Delano Howell against top national running back recruit Darrell Scott. Scott's St. Bonaventure team eventually prevailed behind 3 rushing touchdowns and a 40-yard receiving touchdown. On the game, Scott took St. Bonaventure on his back with 156 yards on 32 carries. Howell ended up with 89 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in his last high school game. He came out of the game in the third quarter with a hip pointer injury and did not return to the game. The championship likely gives St. Bonaventure a spot in the Division III bowl championship.
* After a disappointing three regular season losses, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian completed the reclamation of their season with a convincing 52-7 rout in their section championship. The win gives Oaks Christian their fifth straight championship, making them the third program in CIF-Southern Section history to accomplish that feat. Stanford commit Chris Owusu, who usually does his damage as a pass catcher, had a 38-yard rushing touchdown. His younger brother Brian Owusu added an 18-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and added another touchdown on offense. Boise State commit Chris Potter completed 7 of 9 pass attempts 113 yards and 2 touchdowns and also snagged his eighth interception of the season in his role on defense. Star sophomore running back Malcolm Jones also filled out the stat sheet with 146 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 10 carries. With St. Bonaventure's win over Howell's Hart team, Oaks Christian will likely be passed over for the Division III California bowl championship, ending the high school career of Chris Owusu as well as the Lions' chance of repeating as state champions.
* Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic improved to 15-0 with a 14-6 win in the Pennsylvania state semifinals. Central Catholic, led by two Stanford prospects in Quentin Williams and Dan Vaughan, now becomes the only team still playing that features active public Stanford targets. The game was an intense defensive showdown in which the two teams combined for only 195 yards of offense, with only 79 yards and one offensive touchdown from the victorious Vikings. Williams blocked an extra point. He was not satisfied with the team's performance despite the big win. "We aren't satisfied with how we played," Williams said. "We showed a lot of heart and a lot of effort, but we just didn't make the plays we should have. They were a big team, a real skilled team, and it's tough to go up against a team like that, but we'll get our heads straight this week and go to the state championship on Saturday."
* Marietta (Ga.) Walton lost in the Class AAAAA Georgia state semifinals at the Georgia Dome. The 31-7 loss made them 12-2 on the season and ended the high school career of Chase Thomas. Thomas ended his senior season with 17 sacks. He now looks poised to make a college decision among his favorites, with Stanford and Auburn looking like the favorites.
* Bowling Green (Ky.) fell short of winning the Kentucky Class 5A state championship, losing 28-7 to Fort Thomas (Ky.) Highlands at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Friday. In his last high school game playing for his father, tight end Ryan Wallace had 5 catches for 68 yards. Bowling Green made it to the championship game in each of Wallace's last three seasons only to fall just short in the end each year. Wallace appears to favor Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and Colorado but remains an outside possibility to fill Stanford's need at tight end.
* Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista also fell short in their championship quest, losing the Class 5A Division 1 Arizona state championship by a final score of 34-21 against Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy College Prep at University of Phoenix Stadium. Said star junior Devon Kennard, "All in all, we could've played a better game. It hurts knowing we didn't play our best game." The win gave Brophy College Prep their second championship in the three years of the illustrious career of likely future Ivy League quarterback Bryan Berens. Berens passed for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns on the night, leading Kennard to conclude "That's what hurts me the most. That's my defense. And we got ran all over the field tonight."
* Conversely, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro completed a perfect 14-0 season with an exciting 23-21 Class 4A Division 1 Arizona state championship victory. They won with a 30-yard field goal with two seconds left. The very last play of the game after that go-ahead field goal was a championship clinching sack by star junior defensive lineman Corey Adams. The win gave Saguaro their first perfect season and second consecutive state championship.
Games of Interest:
Central Catholic-Parkland (Quentin Williams and Dan Vaughan) – Saturday
Season Over: Hart (Delano Howell), Stratford (Andrew Luck), Stratford (Sam Schwartzstein), Mission Viejo (Warren Reuland and Allan Bridgford), Bellevue (David DeCastro), Harvard-Westlake (Jonathan Martin), Chandler (Harold Bernard), Hamilton (Covaughn Deboskie), Basha (Quinn Evans), Cabrillo (Marcus Turner), Francis Parker (Matt Zubyk), La Jolla Country Day (Travis Golia), Walton (Chase Thomas), Lemont (Brett Nagel), Nimitz (Michael Thomas), Memphis University School (DeAndre Jones), Bingham (Austin Holt), Bowling Green (Ryan Wallace), Canyon Springs (Devonte Christopher), Gonzaga (Johnson Bademosi), San Clemente (Kevin Murphy), Mater Dei (Matt Barkley), Helix (Levine Toilolo), Wilson (Jemari Roberts), Cypress Ridge (Russell Shepard), Scripps Ranch (Tate Forcier), Our Lady of Good Counsel (Jelani Jenkins), Cambridge Rindge & Latin (Joshua Adams), Desert Vista (Devon Kennard), Punahou (Manti Te'o), Cardinal Mooney (Johnny Simon), Friendswood (Jacob Karam), Penn Charter (Justin Renfrow)
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our website, as well as our full-length feature articles in our glossy magazine. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up) and The Bootleg Magazine (sign-up)!