Camden Wentz, a 6-4 275-pound offensive lineman for Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter High School, was one of Stanford's initial offers among prospective centers and guards. Wentz came to the Stanford coaches' attention playing in the same league as the Walton Raiders team led by future Stanford defensive end Chase Thomas. Already a three-year letterman with a year still to go in high school, Wentz has started all 20 games the Trojans have played in the last two seasons, both 3-7 campaigns for the Trojans.
"Sophomore year, I played left tackle," he begins in explaining his role at the high school level. "Last year, I moved back to center. Freshman year, I was a center and then I moved to left tackle to play because we had four senior offensive linemen. So I was the one guy to return last year and I moved to center."
"Stanford is recruiting me as a center or a guard," the versatile lineman says of the first school to offer him a scholarship. "They're looking at me as an interior lineman."
At the high school level, Wentz not only has experience playing both inside and at offensive tackle but also with varying offensive styles in an experience he calls "balanced."
"My sophomore year we kind of were more heavy run," Wentz reflects. "This past year, we were a lot more balanced, did the throw a lot more. And then next year we're going to throw a lot and not run as much. So it's kind of everything."
After this past season, Wentz' versatility and body of work for Lassiter netted him his first offer from the Cardinal. While Stanford remains his only offer, he is receiving interest from Vanderbilt, Rutgers, NC State, and Boise State. Wentz believes the Commodores may be prepared to join Stanford in offering.
"I'm taking a visit up to Vanderbilt here in a few weeks. They seem pretty interested and apparently if you go up there that's when they offer you, so that can happen. But as of now it's just Stanford."
Not surprisingly, the lone school to offer Wentz stands out for the junior, who does not hesitate to say "right now, Stanford's my favorite." That status for the Cardinal was cemented last weekend, when Wentz made an unofficial visit to The Farm for Stanford's Junior Day. Accompanied by his father, Wentz stayed from Friday night until Sunday night.
"It was amazing," he gushes. "It was a beautiful campus. All the facilities are immaculate. I really liked it. It's a great place I can see myself playing at."
While many features of the weekend appealed to Wentz, the people he encountered on the visit impressed him the most.
"I really love the coaching staff and the players," Wentz continues. "I felt like the coaching staff, they're young and they kind of connect with all of their players. And the players are all really cool. I hung out with them a little bit."
Like Chase Thomas the year before and Georgia recruits in general, Wentz has been recruited primarily by Stanford Running Backs Coach Willie Taggart. Wentz reports that the Junior Day experience gave him a chance to bond with Taggart as well as Chris Dalman, his potential future position coach. However, he also notes that he received quality time with Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh that made a strong impression.
"Even Coach Harbaugh, I sat down with him for about 45 minutes, just talking to him," Wentz shares. "He's not an intimidating coach you don't feel like you can talk to. He's very down to earth and you can just kind of speak your mind with him."
While getting to know largely people associated with the Stanford Football program served as the highlight of the weekend for Wentz, the presence of a familiar face from the Peach State helped make him comfortable on the visit. Fellow Marietta resident David Paulsen, a high school teammate of the aforementioned Chase Thomas, also made the trip with Wentz.
"Well, me and David are pretty good friends here in Atlanta, so we already knew each other and we knew we were going out together," Wentz describes of his relationship with Paulsen. "And so when we were there we just kind of hung out together and took it in. We talked about what we liked and everything. It was good having somebody else out there who's going through the same thing with the distance and all this kind of stuff."
Having returned from an unofficial visit to his current favorite school, Wentz claims to not be far from a decision.
"I want to make it probably in the next month, month and a half," he says. "So it will be pretty soon."
As he contemplates an early decision and considers other suitors, Wentz, the owner of a 3.85 GPA, is committed to working on the Stanford Admissions application as soon as he gets it.
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