Those who follow Stanford recruiting closely will be a little puzzled by this report. An unbreakable rule of Cardinal recruiting is that a recruit needs to clear the admissions application process before their offer can be unconditional, and before they can fully commit to Stanford. Thus, the application and review process becomes a core component in any prospect's Stanford recruitment.
For Los Angeles wide receiver Mark Bradford, currently ranked the #12 wideout in the country by TheInsiders, this recruitment has moved a little late in the game, given that he applied to late to Stanford. Information given to him by rival coaches last fall led him to believe that he could not be admitted to Stanford, and for that reason he let the Cardinal slide off his recruiting radar. Only late in the 2002 calendar year did a bumb in his SAT score from a retake, plus a heart-to-heart talk with Stanford linebackers coach Tom Williams, convince him that Stanford was a viable option. The standout recruit agreed to take one of his official visits to The Farm in early January, where he for the first time believed that he had an honest shot at getting admitted to Stanford. Moreover, he found the place one he could feel good about for his college years.
So after returning home, he started working on his application, and finished it early this past week. After finalizing some signatures and teacher recommendations, he faxed it to Stanford on Tuesday, which started the clock on the review process. Both Bradford and the Cardinal coaches were hopeful that an answer would be produced on his application in time for the Stanford in-home visit Saturday, which would also be the final piece in his recruiting puzzle.
But Bradford tells The Bootleg today that head coach Buddy Teevens, who was accompanied by Williams and receivers coach David Kelly, did not have a final answer on his admissions application Saturday. "There was no decision yet," the young man says. "They said there is one last thing being looked at. They expect a decision on Monday."
That would seem to spell certain doom for the Cardinal, given that Bradford has stated publicly before that he would make his final decision today. Does that mean bad news for Stanford in this imminent decision?
"I wouldn't say that," he answers. "All three schools, Stanford, LSU and USC, are right up there. I still plan on deciding later today, after talking with my dad and my coach." Bradford adds that when he comes to his final decision on this Super Sunday, he will release it publicly by contacting Greg Biggins, our good friend at PacWestFootball
What did the Stanford coaches discuss with this improbable receiver recruit, during the Saturday visit that included their attendance at a basketball game of his and then time spent at the Bradford home?
"All three coaches did a great job," the Fremont High School senior reports. "They just made sure that all my questions were answered. I think Stanford is definitely a team on the rise."
Adding this all up, it sounds like the Cardinal coaches have made a valiant effort in this difficult recruiting situation, though they may fall short of LSU or USC if Bradford looks to decide today before he hears back from Stanford on the admissions end of the process. The final question, for those who love numbers, was what percentage chance would Mark Bradford put on Stanford's chances with his decision today?
"I'd say 75%," he plainly replies. Seventy-five percent??? I double-checked with him to make sure I heard that number correctly, and to make sure he thinks there is that strong a chance he could commit before learning his admissions decision. No confusion there, he says, though we will all wait on this very anxious Sunday to find out just what he finally decides. Until then, furrow your brow and try to figure this one out.