Elite Recruiting Update: WR Kenny Stills

There are some recruiting "whales" still swimmin' the seas of 2010. Cardinal whale-watchers will be pleased to know that five-star WR Kenny Stills, Scout.com's sixth-rated junior wide receiver in the nation, remains highly interested in the Cardinal. The Bootleg's Andy Drukarev touched base with the blazing burner from Encinitas to see how likely it is that he could end up in a Stanford uniform.

Elite Recruiting Update: WR Kenny Stills

Just when Stanford football fans thought it was safe to close the book on 2010 wide receiver recruiting, a familiar name has re-emerged near the top of Stanford's recruiting board.

La Costa Canyon wide receiver Kenny Stills, Scout's #6 wide receiver, understandably  has offers from most of the country's top football programs, and has yet to eliminate any schools from consideration. However, in a recent Scout.com article by West Recruiting Manager and analyst Brandon Huffman, Stills listed Stanford as one of his ten favorite schools along with California, UCLA, Oklahoma, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, LSU, Oregon, and Penn State.

When The Bootleg noticed Stanford on that list, we gave the five-star recruit a call to learn more about his continuing interest in the Cardinal.

 "Stanford has always been a school that I've been considering from day one," Stills said. "I've been up there a few times and my best friend's sister goes to Stanford on a soccer scholarship so I've spent a lot of time up there. I have a good relationship with Coach Harbaugh. I definitely am considering going to school there."

There is one major roadblock in Stanford's recruitment of Stills, however. At this point in time the elite wide receiver is still very much considering the option of graduating early from high school. But as Cardinal fans know, Stanford does not accept football recruits who hope to start their college careers in December or January.

 "It just depends on how I feel going through the rest of this year," Stills said of possibly graduating early. "Something can happen where I end up wanting to stay, play basketball with my boys, and run track, and then I could end up staying. [On the other hand] something else could happen where I'll be like, ‘I'm ready to go and forget it.' It just depends on me and how I feel. "

If he doesn't graduate early, Stills said that Stanford would have a real shot at obtaining his services.

"They'd probably be in the top three [if I don't graduate early,]" Stills said. "From day one I've always been really interested in Stanford and the things that Coach Harbaugh can do. I feel like things are changing around there and I really would like to be a part of it. They're really high on my list – it's just a matter of me staying or going and that obviously is a big decision that I have to make."

Either way, Stills doesn't plan on making a commitment or even narrowing down his list of college choices any time soon.

"I plan on having a big year and maybe some other things will happen," Stills said. "I never really planned on cutting my list down. That top 10 was just a list of ten schools I like that [Huffman] asked me if I could give him. I'm definitely not cutting things down though, and I'm not cutting anyone off."

Before committing, Stills plans on taking all five of his official visits. He already has trips scheduled to Florida, Oklahoma, and Penn State, and is considering a handful of out-of-state schools for the final two trips.

"Every school that's pretty much offered me is still in that group for the last two officials, but I really don't plan on taking any officials to California schools," Stills said.

When Stills is finally ready to make a decision, which probably won't happen until his high school football season ends on November 28, he plans on choosing a school with a strong passing game, top-notch coaching, and an opportunity to play early.

"I want to have a great relationship with the receivers coach and the offensive coordinator, Stills said. "It's important to also see how productive the receiving corps is that year. Obviously, I want to play early and be able to make an impact.  A lot of things go into it, but I would just say the relationship with the coaching staff and the production of the receivers are probably the biggest things for me."

Stills added that he is looking to play for a winning program and that a team's record in the 2009 season will make an impact on his decision.

"It's a pretty big factor," Stills said. "I want the team to have a good year and hopefully all the teams I'm considering will have big years and it will make it a difficult decision for me."

Academically, Stills is fully qualified for most schools, but does have some work to do in order to gain admission to Stanford.

"They want me to take two AP classes just to beef up my schedule a little bit, but besides that everything is pretty solid for me," Stills said. "My SAT is pretty solid. I'll probably end up retaking it again just to make it easier, but everything is going pretty well when we talk about academics. Stanford just kind of wants me to beef up my schedule this year to help out with the admissions process."

Stills volunteered that he scored a 1400 on his first SAT attempt and reported a 3.2 GPA.

Scout.com Biography:
As a 2008 junior, Stills helped lead Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon to the CIF-San Diego Section D-I championship, leading all of San Diego in receiving yards with 1,274 on 64 receptions and scored 16 touchdowns. He was named First Team All-State Underclass by GoldenStatePreps.com. As a 2007 sophomore was name La Costa Canyon (Calif.) High's Offensive Player of the Year. Was named a North County Times First Team All-League

Scout's Brandon Huffman on Stills: "Stills is one of the most complete receivers to come out of the West in a few years. Has great speed (4.36), excellent hands and concentration and is a crisp, route-runners. He's quick off the line, tough to stay in coverage with, and when he gets past the secondary, he's not going to be caught. Needs to continue to add more strength, but has good height and long arms that allow him to reel in most any passes."

Editor's Note: Take it for what it's worth, but a recent article on the Scout.com Florida Gator site contends that Stills was a USC lean, but that with USC having just landed #1 WR Robert Woods and being likely to land #2 WR Kyle Prater, it is now likely a two-horse race for Stills between Florida and Oklahoma, with Florida possibly not offering because they are too stacked and might be full at WR- Ah, the hubris...and quite possibly true. Apparently, a Florida assistant coached Stills' father in college. What is interesting is that there is also a report that one-time Stanford wish-list WR Stephen Alli has already enrolled at UF (and will count as a member of the 2009 class?! The kid just up and skipped his senior year in high school!) and they (FLA) are probably the ones making Stills think about a similar super-early-graduation path. This one has a long way to go.

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