"I know I need to talk with my coach and my parents, look at the schools and eventually narrow them down, but I haven't really set a time to do that," Innes told TheBootleg.com earlier this week.
For now, Innes is wide open in his recruitment and still considering all the schools that have offered or shown interest. However, he has taken a number of unofficial visits to try to get a better feel for some of the West Coast schools recruiting him. Just a few weeks ago, Innes and his father flew to the Bay Area to see Stanford.
"When I first got to Stanford, we went into the football offices and met with a bunch of coaches including Coach Drevno and Coach Harbaugh," Innes said. "Then we took a tour around the campus got to see everything. It was just amazing, just beautiful. The atmosphere is so much better than Arizona, where it's 110 degrees, so I really enjoyed that.
"Then we met with, I think, the head of the biology department and talked with him for a little bit about what my first couple years would be like if I were a biology major. He was just an amazingly intelligent guy."
The part of the visit that stood out the most for Innes and his father was the time they spent getting better acquainted with the Cardinal coaching staff.
"When I visited, we got to spend a lot of time with coaches and really get to know them," Innes said. "My dad really loved meeting with them and I did too. They really seem to know what they're doing and I really think they're going to help Stanford get put back on the map for football."
But a good coaching staff is just one of several qualities Innes looks for in a school.
"The academics are important to me and Stanford is definitely the best academically of all the schools that have offered me," Innes said. "Then, I need to love the coaches I'm going to play for, and the facilities and the school's location have a little bit to do with it too, but I'm not really sure what's going to be the deciding factor at this point."
If Innes were to end up at Stanford, he would likely start off as an offensive guard, although other colleges are recruiting him as a tackle.
"The Stanford coaches liked my athleticism, my motor, and that I never give up on the play," Innes said. "That's what a lot of colleges said they really liked about me, plus my footwork and handwork and long arms and all of that."
Innes estimates that when healthy he can run a 4.9 40-yard dash while posting a max squat of around 450 pounds and a max bench press of roughly 340.
Innes, who reports a 3.4 GPA and a 1700 on his SAT, has also started to discuss the admissions process with the Stanford coaches in recent weeks.
"I actually talked to Coach Roman and Coach Anderson this week and they said something about starting on the application later this summer, so I might have to do that," Innes said.
But unlike some prospects who may be intimated by applying to Stanford, Innes has few worries about that part of the admission process.
"I'm used to do doing a bunch of essays," Innes said. "I did a 30-page paper this year for honors English. It was a lot of long nights and was not fun, but it gets you ready for college, I guess. The last couple of days we were up past three in the morning and the last night, I only got 30 minutes of sleep. Mine was on William Wallace and the Scottish Revolution, which is extremely hard to write about because there's not a lot of factual information on William Wallace."
And with summer vacation now bringing a welcome break from the horrors of honors English, Innes is trying to find the right balance between helping lead his team's preparations for another undefeated season and participating in recruiting camps and taking visits.
"Well, I'm definitely going to work out with my team and just get everybody ready for next year," Innes said. "I've been more focused on getting my team ready for next year to go in and win another state championship, and keep the 33-0 winning streak alive. My coach is really depending on me and a couple of other players to step up and be leaders, but as soon as he says I can go to a camp, I'd want to do that. I might go to Stanford's camp [later this month] and maybe USC's Rising Stars camp. I'm going to ASU's camp too, because that one is on the weekend and I know I'm free then. Other than that, I'm not sure about any camps or visits."
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