"We Walk!" #7: LB/S Devin Guillory [#45]

One of the most compelling stories of the fall is that of freshman walk-on Devin Guillory from Baton Rouge. Scott Cooley kicks off the second half of our popular "We Walk" series profiling the remarkable array of quality walk-ons that are working hard to contribute to the Card program ASAP. This "athlete" is a very serious "student", but he apparently saw no reason to sacrifice one for the other.

"We Walk!" #7: LB/S Devin Guillory [#45]

Cardinal freshman Devin Guillory knows robots. Not the Transformers-type of robots you see in the visiting Earth in the movies, but the "It's Alive!" electrical creations pieced together by mad scientists…or by mad Stanford students.

Guillory is a walk-on linebacker/safety for the Cardinal football squad. He comes to The Farm by way of the Deep South, hailing from Baton Rouge , Louisiana. Guillory's eventual path to Palo Alto did not happen by chance, it has always been a purposeful pursuit.

"I've always wanted to come to Stanford, mainly for the engineering program," Guillory said. "I want to major in electrical engineering and then go on to study robotics in graduate school."

In June 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked Stanford the No. 3 engineering program in the country. With the football program becoming increasingly stronger under the guidance of Coach Harbaugh and his staff, Guillory will get to enjoy top-flight experiences in both academics and athletics.

"What really got me interested in [Stanford] was reading science journals and the university would always pop up," he said.
"Right now I am interested in automated vehicles and some type of disabled mobility. The possibilities with robotics are large, so [the field] really peaks my interest." 

Like so many Cardinal football players, Guillory is a bright, well-spoken young man and he has ambition to start his own engineering firm after he graduates. As class salutatorian, Guillory stamped a 4.78 GPA and 33 ACT on his high school resume and was named as a 2009 National Merit Scholar. His talents are well-documented, but extend beyond the classroom and the laboratory.

Guillory was also a four-year varsity starter at McKinley High School . As a senior, he registered 92.0 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11.0 sacks and three forced fumbles. Guillory earned All-State honors in the Louisiana 4A ranks as well as a myriad of local accolades.

Despite the high praise in both academics and athletics, Guillory nevertheless went somewhat undiscovered in the 2009 recruiting class.

"As far as the recruiting process, basically at the end of my senior year I made a tape and sent it out," stated Guillory. "I applied to Stanford before I sent the tape because even without football I was still considering coming here. I got accepted and then on that same day I talked to the Stanford coaches wanting me to come out here and see the school. So it all just worked out."

There was football recruiting interest from in-state schools like LSU, Tulane and Southeastern, but no official football scholarship offers were extended. So how did a high-caliber player like Guillory fall into the hands of the Cardinal?

"We had a lot of problems with our football team," he said. "We had three head coaches in my four years there so it was tough to establish an identity. I received a lot of unofficial offers [from in-state schools], but because of Stanford, they knew my interest wasn't really there." 

Guillory admitted that the constant changing of coaches forced him to learn quickly. He played many positions in high school because of the different coaches' schemes and philosophies, lining up anywhere from free and strong safety, to linebacker and defensive end.

At 6-2, 200 pounds, Guillory is predominately seeing time at linebacker during Cardinal training camp. He says that he doesn't prefer to play one position over the next, but only wants to get on the field and contribute as soon as possible.

"I'm just trying to get on the field any way I can, and I am going to do that," Guillory said. "I need to really work on my eyes. Defense changes a lot from high school to college so I need to try and make the adjustment as quickly as I can. To get where I want to be, I am going to work on my vision and just go all out."

Guillory's defensive versatility could help him get on the field as early as this season. Learning the playbook for multiple positions allows him to comprehend various facets of the defense more easily.

"I think versatility helps me understand more and more positions," he said. "At linebacker and safety you really have to know the whole defense because you are one of the play-callers. I feel that I have pretty good speed and strength for my size. That's what really helps me go between both positions."

Guillory reports that he is settling nicely into the life of college football. He attests that becoming acclimated to a fresh football environment is easy, but his new West Coast surroundings have taken some time to get used to.

"I am settling in just fine, but it is definitely a different world," Guillory said, comparing Louisiana to California. "The main thing I am going to have to get accustomed to is the change in food (missing good ‘ole Southern home cooking). But I love the weather. I absolutely love the cool weather we get out here."

And when he isn't on the football field, it's no surprise Guillory enjoys spending time exercising and massaging his brain.

"I like Quiz Bowl and stuff like that," he said. "My high school team went to state my junior year and we were runner-up in state in the Beta Quiz Bowl my sophomore year. For the out-of-school Quiz Bowl team (yes, he was on a "select" city team) we ended up winning three National Championships and were runner-up in one more."

Editor's Bonus Notes:

On Jim Harbaugh's Twitter account earlier in the week, Coach showed some serious "EUTC" ["Enthusiasm Unknown To Cyber -kind"], busting out with an unprecedented seven-part "tweet", gushing freely about Guillory: "He plays with good instincts, has speed to cover ground...for his size and long legs, Devin can bend his knees. What a great scholar-athlete. Stanford would be cheated with anything less!"

#45 apparently took calculus.... as an eighth-grader.

We understand Guillory took an official visit to Minnesota, but in the end it was between Stanford, Harvard, and of all places, Carnegie Mellon . You have to think that the CMU Tartans would have LOVED to have had an athlete of Devin's caliber for their high-quality Division III football program, where they compete effectively in the University Athletic Association. Hey, don't laugh - CMU played TCU pretty darn tough in the '38 Sugar Bowl!

Louisiana has been a recent hot bed of recruiting for Stanford Football in recent years. The "Pelican State", often unofficially referred to as the "Bayou State", has been home to the likes of solid-to-spectacular players such as LB Jon Alston (Shreveport) and DL/FB Nick Frank (New Orleans). What's more, the city of Baton Rouge specifically is the hometown of former stars such as inside linebacker Marc Stockbauer, safety FS Brandon Harrison, tailback Anthony Kimble and, lest we forget, of current junior Card running back Jeremy Stewart

Guillory, the football player, may just be the biggest and most pleasant "non-scholarship surprise" of the Cardinal's fall camp. Of the dozen new walk-on players, none has made a more positive impression in the early going. It has been the first name off of the lips of not one, but several coaches and staff members.

Interesting to note that Guillory, as we understand it, was being recruited by Stanford University based solely on the strength of his academic qualifications. Nice that the kid can ball as well!

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