Some recruits are public stars, earning early and recurring intense interest from colleges and recruiting services alike, while others lie under the recruiting radar for reasons of exposure or perceived lack of size or speed. Stanford's fourth commitment in this 2003 football recruiting class (committed 10/17/02) has fallen in that second "sleeper" category, as defensive tackle Nick Frank was overlooked prior to his senior year due to his height (6'2").
But Frank took the New Orleans metro area by storm this year, recording an incredible bundle of statistics:
- 90 solo tackles
- 20 sacks
- 10 passes deflected
- 5 forced fumbles
- 4 fumbles recovered
- 9 blocked kicks
- 1 touchdown
He led his Holy Cross team to a standout 10-2 season, and his individual dominance led to a bevy of awards and accolades. He has been named by both the coaches and the sportswriters to the first team Louisiana All-State team, and has also been named the Defensive MVP for the metro New Orleans area.
To put that last honor in perspective, consider some of the defensive standout recruits from that New Orleans metro area. Three of the top 30 safeties in the country hail from the Metro area, as well as two of the top 10 defensive tackles in the country. All told, according to today's rankings on TheInsiders, Frank actually trails no less than 15 defensive recruits from New Orleans, though he beat them all out for the honors selected by the local media and coaches. Look for national recruiting services and rankings to catch-up to Frank soon.
Part of the senior season emergence for a player like Frank is always going to be a surge of late recruiting interest from schools. Calls have come from the likes of Mississippi State, Alabama, Memphis and Tulane, though Frank has told his high school coach to tell all college coaches that he is not interested and firm with his Stanford decision. Then a surprising story was published December 29 on the Tulane Insiders website reporting that he was wavering with his Stanford commitment, and furthermore that he would likely switch his commitment to Tulane if offered by the Green Wave.
The timing of this report could not have been worse for Frank and his family, as they were away on a week's vacation and just returned this afternoon. Within minutes of walking in the door, they called The Bootleg to set the record straight.
"He is 100% committed to Stanford, with no wavering in the slightest," said his father Matt Reeves. "That's just a really bad rumor," said Frank to the allegations. They furthermore straightened out the fact that Tulane did offer the standout DT early in the fall before his Stanford commitment. According to his father, Tulane has also been the most aggressive school in recruiting his son after the Stanford commitment, "calling almost as much as Stanford."
As part of that recruitment, Tulane has been talking to the family and Holy Cross coaches about the negatives of travelling so far from home and in particular taking shots at Stanford head man Buddy Teevens, who was the Tulane head coach for five years (1992-96). But if Tulane has hoped to find a chink in the armor of this Cardinal commitment, they have run up against a brick wall. "After my commitment, Stanford has kept in contact with me the same as they had been before," says Frank. "It's been a nice surprise - I figured once committed, they would back off."
Teevens in fact made an in-home visit on December 17, which Reeves called "a fantastic visit that got Nick all fired up and extremely excited for his upcoming visit." Nick Frank and his parents are coming out this coming weekend to Stanford for his official visit, which interestingly will be the first time he has not only seen Stanford, but even visited the state of California. Frank was the first out of state commitment for Stanford in this class, yet he did so site unseen.
"The primary reason Nick committed so early was that all the recruiting attention kept him from focusing on football and school," explained his father. "Stanford was his number one choice back to the summer, even before Stanford was calling him."
Frank will join a strong group of top Stanford recruits and commits to visit the campus this coming weekend, which is the biggest visit weekend of the year for the Cardinal. Between 15 and 20 recruits may be expected to attend.