Wilkes: "It really blew me away this time!"

New Jersey OL Khalil Wilkes holds nearly two dozen scholarship offers, including several from some of the more prestigious academic schools in the nation, including Stanford, Wake Forest, and Rutgers. Wilkes (6-foot-4 and 285-pounds) has begun taking his official visits and most recently trekked out west to visit the Stanford Cardinal of the Pac-10 during the weekend of January 9-11.

Khalil Wilkes: "It really blew me away this time"

Khalil Wilkes, by way of St. Peter's Prep HS [Jersey City, NJ] is one of the top overall players in the east. Wilkes, whose father played his division-I ball at Rutgers, began his officials with a visit to Piscataway , New Jersey , during early December. More recently, the Garden State standout embarked on a longer trip, one that saw him visit the west coast and one that gave him a more in-depth look at one of the most prestigious academic schools in the nation: Stanford University .

By all accounts, Wilkes, who was kind enough to thoroughly describe his visit, thoroughly enjoyed himself and came away quite impressed.

"It was a great visit," stated Wilkes, following the conclusion of his trip to Palo Alto . "I came here Thursday night. I got to stay here at the hotel for a little bit and chatted with some of the other commits and talked about the whole process and everything like that and that went well. Then, we got some shut-eye because we had a big couple of days coming up after that."

"Friday, that was the campus tour," continued Wilkes. "It was my second time down here – I had already seen it once. The second time it was even better. It was a real nice visit. I got to look at the whole campus and also got to have some fun. I got to play some laser tag with the guys. I got to talk to some guys that haven't committed yet, guys like Justin Bright (FSU soft verbal). I also talked to some other guys, like Frankie Telfort (Gulliver Prep HS, FL), and even some commits, guys like Terrence Stephens and Shayne Skov. A lot of great players were out here."

Despite being from the east coast, Wilkes noticed quite the Jersey flavor among those he was visiting, an important feature for someone strongly considering a three-thousand mile move.

"They (i.e., Stanford staff) made sure I talked to Jim Dray from Bergen Catholic (NJ). I remember watching him when I was in the eighth grade. I saw Nick Macaluso from Middletown South (NJ), and he's doing great here. There are a lot of Jersey people from here, and a lot of people from New Jersey that are very successful. There are some people that are students here that I've met that are from New Jersey , people from Montclair (NJ), from Montville (NJ)- all around - so Jersey is definitely all around the country."

Coach Jim Harbaugh has brought the football excitement back to Palo Alto and the blend of an improved product on the field with an already established reputation of academic excellence is an added characteristic that is not lost on potential student-athletes.

"On Friday we got to meet with some of the academic people and we got to talk about some of the classes here. We talked with some of the professors here and that was great."

"Before I came out here I was fully aware of the academic excellence over here," continued Wilkes. "Of course, going to a place like Stanford, you always know what you're going to get into. It really blew me away this time."

"I have a great relationship with all the coaches, not only them but with all the coaches, that are recruiting me, the Rutgers coaches and the Wake Forest coaches as well."

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