Texas OT Underwood still solid to Cardinal

Stanford's impressive start to the 2009 college football season has not gone unnoticed by one of the team's key offensive line recruits. Guyer (Denton, Tex.) High School star and Stanford offensive line commit Cole Underwood found some time to watch the Cardinal dismantle the visiting Washington Huskies on Saturday night and came away impressed with the direction in which he sees the team heading.

"I feel like they can compete with anybody out there right now, especially in the Pac-10," Cole Underwood said. "It's just going to be interesting to see how it plays out this year. The main thing is continuing to improve. That's a big thing with me personally and with my high school team, and I know it is at Stanford. I just know that from here, it's going to get better."

After reading those comments, it should come as no surprise to Cardinal fans that Underwood is firm in his commitment to Stanford -- even though a number of schools are still trying to change his mind.

"Nebraska still tries to get a hold of me, along with Northwestern and Baylor," Underwood said. "They do know my commitment is solid and that I made my commitment for good reasons."

Then again, it's not like Underwood would have much spare time to deal with recruiting anyway. Not only is the three-star tackle a force for one of the best teams in the entire state of Texas, but he is also taking a challenging course load and is in the process of putting the final stages on his Stanford application.

"Actually it's about to be sent off," Underwood said. "It would have been sent off a lot sooner, but I had to be in touch with some of my English teachers, so they could look over my essays for any grammatical errors that I may have missed, and that kind of took a while because of their schedules. But it's about to be sent off and hopefully we'll get that back soon."

One of the unfortunate side effects of such an ambitious schedule is that Underwood hasn't been able to communicate with other 2010 Stanford committed players as he may have hoped.

"Recently I haven't talked to many guys just because of school and football, we're all busy," Underwood said. "Earlier in the year I did talk with Tai-ler Jones a little bit. I talked with Daunte Carr as well, especially when he was trying to make his decision, and Henry Anderson has touched base with me over Facebook. We're all aware of each other, and we all know we're going to be playing with each other. It's just a matter of time before we meet up and get acquainted."

For now, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound right tackle is focusing on trying to lead his Guyer High School team to a state title. And after squeaking by Smith High School in the team's season opener, Guyer has won its last three games by a combined score of 142 –35, as it has built momentum into the middle part of the team's schedule.

"Well, we have a lot of good team chemistry," Underwood said. "We've played some pretty decent teams our first three games and our first district game, and we've finished every game strong. Our offensive line really works well together this year, and we all have a great relationship with the quarterback and running back. I think that's really a key to our success at the beginning of the season."

But as Underwood is well aware, the season is still a long way from completion and he still has one big goal to accomplish before the completion of his high school career.

"I'd really like to end up with a state championship -- that's really our main goal as a team," Underwood said. "Right now, they have us ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 1 in our area and I just feel like a state championship is really what every team strives for in the state of Texas. Football is big here, and there are a lot of teams here going after that same goal. I think we have the skill set to make it there and to win a championship, and that's really what I want to end up with regardless of our ranking this year."

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