On Sunday, a day after the Nike Camp held on Stanford's campus featured some of the top talent from the region and beyond, the Cardinal hosted their third Junior Day of the spring. While some of the attendees were participants from the Nike Camp who lingered in Palo Alto for an extra day, the story of the weekend involved Memphis (Tenn.) Harding Academy's Marlon Brown making the cross-country trip specifically to see Stanford. The highly-coveted five-star wide receiver, who came out with his grandmother, spent Sunday and part of Monday on the campus and came away impressed.
"It was by far one of the most amazing campuses in the world, hands down," Brown praises.
In addition to getting to see the campus, Brown was also able to sit in on a Stanford class on Monday, meet some of the current players, and spend time with other recruits who were on campus. However, the first element of the visit the two-sport star highlights is the opportunity to talk to the head coaches of both of the sports he plans to play in college.
"Talking to the head coaches," he identifies as the visit activity that stood out. "The head football coach, the head basketball coach, the assistants."
While Brown garners most of his headlines for being a five-star receiver universally ranked as one of the top 20 overall prospects in the nation for football, the 6'5" athlete is also an excellent basketball player and was a finalist for Mr. Basketball in Tennessee, where he led his basketball team to the state championship. He has repeatedly affirmed his intentions of playing both sports in college, though he now offers the possibility of eventually focusing on one.
"I think I'm going to go in playing both, and then if I'm better at one, then I'm going to just do that sport," Brown clarifies.
Nonetheless, Brown remains fundamentally focused on being a two-sport recruit and keeping both options open for college. Consequently, his visit to Stanford meant connecting with not one but two coaching staffs, including the new regime for the basketball team.
"It was really nice," Brown says of the chance to meet Johnny Dawkins, the new head Cardinal men's basketball coach. "It was really cool talking to him and whatnot."
Similarly, Brown reports enjoying his time with head football coach Jim Harbaugh, of whom he says "it was real good [and] fun to talk to him in person."
Beyond whether the recruit enjoyed his time with the two coaches, of course, lies the ultimate question of his ability to pull double duty if he matriculates to Stanford. His conversations with the two coaching staffs left no doubt in his mind that such an arrangement would be in the cards if he went to Stanford.
"There's no problem there playing both," Brown answers without hesitation.
Brown's trip also brought him into contact with some other recruits taking a look at the football program, including some who were already sold on the program heading into the weekend.
"We talked about Stanford and how amazing it is," Brown recounts of conversations with some fellow visitors, "if we go there, if we get in and go there."
In summarizing his visit experience, Brown uses a word that came up repeatedly in reflecting about the trip, saying "it's an amazing school."
"When I first went there I was like ‘It's Stanford, it's a college,'" Brown concludes in describing the impact of the trip on his thought process. "Then I went there and visited, and it's high on the list now."
Though Stanford previously made Marlon Brown's initial cut of his lengthy offer list down to 17 top schools, being mentioned as "high on the list" is especially exciting for the Cardinal. The five-star receiver had not yet been to a college campus for a Junior Day before deciding to fly across the country with his grandmother to see Stanford this past weekend. He now says he plans summer visits to "USC, UCLA, Florida, and Tennessee."
Given those plans and Brown's many suitors, the recent unofficial visit to Stanford is the beginning of a long journey in a recruitment that will surely capture attention from coast to coast from now until Signing Day.
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