Signed, sealed and delivered!

It took a little longer than the faint of heart may have liked, but all 25 Cardinal commitments became signees today by the late afternoon. The class offers more talent at a greater depth than any seen in recent memory on The Farm, which has the entire program giddy. Read on for the late developments that marked the day, as well as a look at these 25 future Stanford stars.

In case you missed it, there was some unprecedented drama on this 2003 Signing Day for Stanford football.  The first 23 signed Letters of Intent were faxed and received by the lunch hour, but two more from two very elite and important recruits remained outstanding.  Consensus All-American receiver Mark Bradford and elite linebacker Michael Okwo were waiting for their admissions applications responses deep into the afternoon.  Stanford cannot and will not receive a letter of intent from a prospective student-athlete before acceptance.  Both recruits submitted their applications very late in the process, just last week, which set the stage for today's suspenseful finish.  Bradford had announced this past Sunday that he was selecting the Cardinal over the USC Trojans, among others, but the USC coaches saw an opening today with the admissions delay and bombarded the young man with phone calls to encourage him to end the waiting and just sign for Southern Cal.  At approximately 3:20 pm in the afternoon, the thumbs up finally came from Old Union, and word quickly was delivered to Bradford and Okwo.  Though for good measure, the 25th LOI did not reach the Stanford football office until 4:30 pm, after a lengthy delay during which Okwo had difficulties with his fax machine at home.  The tension throughout the day for the Cardinal coaching staff was tremendous, and it showed in the late afternoon when they congregated for the celebratory reception held in the Arrillaga Family Sports Center.  They got their guys, but after a lot of pain and anguish.

Turning our attention now to the 25 fantastic student-athletes assembled in this class, you should scroll down the page to see their listings in the table below.  Looking at what had been forecasted as the needs at each position, it is easy to conclude that this is a deep and appropriately balanced class.  Strictly by those numbers, you might say that the defensive backs are a little thin and the wide receivers are a little superfluous.  The Stanford coaches say that with this quality of receivers, though, you can't turn them away.  Additionally, if you think Tim Sims might play cornerback down the road, that balances out the DBs excellently.  On a similar note, you might have wanted a little more on the defensive line and not so many tight ends, but a look into the future where Chris Horn might play defensive end brings pretty good balance.  Importantly, Horn has the body type to be a strongside DE, whereas Emmanuel Awofadeju and Udeme Udofia are both edge rushers likely to play on the weakside.  When it's all said and done, the balance and depth of this class across all positions is just phenomenal.  In fact, it is an incredible surprise.  When these kids report for freshman camp in August, they will have an honest chance to scrimmage 11-on-11, once buoyed with a walk-on or two... and the offense will even be able to sport any and every formation in the playbook.

This class will form a rock-solid foundation upon which Stanford will win football games for the next 4-5 years, and I say that not just because of the aforementioned discussion of depth and balance.  I say that because there are a lot of tough kids in this class, and they are all coming to Stanford hungry to win.  A lot of superstars turned down offers at some football factories (see colleges noted for each player who were spurned) - places where they could have much more safely counted in a lot of high-octane winning seasons.  The fact that kids with those options and such talent came to Stanford on the heels of a 2-9 season says that they come here knowing that their sweat and blood is core to any future winning.  These kids aren't arriving on the heels of a Rose Bowl season, or a 9-3 run.  They come here with their eyes wide open to the youth movement and the great need at many positions to build this team back up.  They come here knowing it won't be easy, knowing that winning is not a birthright handed to them.  That's why these guys are specials and will win at Stanford.

Stanford Recruiting: Class of 2003

(Click on the recruit's name for their profile)

Quarterback (need 1)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
T.C. Ostrander Menlo-Atherton
(Atherton, CA)
6-2 185 Ore, Col, Uva, Cal Sept. 1 Drop-back quarterback with loads of tools and underrated athleticism.  44 TDs and 7 INTs, 67% completions, 3059 yards.  He's elite for a reason.


Tailback (need 2)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Jason Evans Harrison
(Kennesaw, GA)
6-1 190 Psu, Ok, A&M, ND, Usc, Ore, Fla, Neb, Mich, Tex, Ucla Dec. 21 Bigger back who can run between the tackles, but also a special receiving ability out in the flat.  By the offer theory, the most sought-after recruit in this entire class. Finalist for Watkins Award
David Marrero St Thomas Aquinas
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)
5-10 180 ND, Fla, Fsu, Neb, Ok, Ala, Aub, GT, BC, Ncst Jan. 24 True blazer with 4.3 speed, but not just track speed.  Explosiveness can help all over the field, including early help as a special teams return burner.


Fullback (need 1)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Emeka Nnoli Natomas
(Sacramento, CA)
6-1 230 Usc, Wash, Cal Sept. 15 #1 fullback in country, with off-scale agility and quickness for size.  Senior year didn't match up to junior year, but attributed to illness and surrounding talent more than anything else. Finalist for Watkins Award.


Wide Receiver (need 2-3)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Mark Bradford Fremont
(Los Angeles, CA)
6-2 185 Usc, Lsu, ND, Ucla, Wash Feb. 5 Most improbable and most dramatic 11th hour get in this class.  Very special receiver with all the natural abilities, plus toughness.  Will play right away.
Jai Miller Selma
(Selma, AL)
6-4 192 Aub, Bama, GT Feb. 3 Alabama shocker when he spurned both state giants, to Stanford's benefit.  QB in high school but all the athletic tools to be a top receiver.  Huge get for bball staff, helping out at PG.
Evan Moore Brea-Olinda
(Brea, CA)
6-7 230 Usc, Ucla, Wash Oct. 15 Very solid agreement with coaches to take the "Teyo track" and redshirt first year of football while playing bball.  You think he's a tight end, but he really does move around with quickness and agility of a receiver. Tough PF for bball.
Tim Sims Glades Central
(Miami, FL)
6-0 170 UCF, USF, Wake Jan. 21 The steal of this class, regarded as a top athlete.  Great speed, natural ability and toughness.  Could also be a really special star at cornerback down the road.


Tight End (need 1-2)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Patrick Danahy Cardinal Mooney
(Sarasota, FL)
6-5 225 GT, Wisc, Fla Dec. 23 Most ready to play right away of this TE class.  Big, strong and moves really well.  883 yards receiving while also a blocking monster.
Michael Horgan Loyola
(Los Angeles, CA)
6-5 230 Wash, Cal, Usc Jan. 22 Tough to get stats in a run-dominated Loyola offense, but staff loved what they saw in person at a game.  Tough kid who has a very lean frame today that will fill out a lot.
Chris Horn Tongue River
(Dayton, WY)
6-5 232 NW, WY, Princ, Cal, Colst Jan. 13 The most buried recruit in the class in rural Wyoming.  Hard to judge ability in midst of low level WY football, but athleticism shown in several sports plus body type = big future.


Offensive Line (need 5-6)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Mikal Brewer Centennial
(Peoria, AZ)
6-4 275 Neb, Ucla, ND, Az Nov. 18 Versatile and powerful athlete is key get for future of interior line.  The one OL with a real chance to play first year.  Serious athlete with strength and versatility.
Preston Clover Laguna Hills
(Laguna Hills, CA)
6-5 275 Ucla, Ore, Wsu, Colst Dec. 11 Like Brewer, versatile talent for interior positions, though maybe with more nimble feet.  Great center prospect.
David Long Madison Central
(Madison, MS)
6-10 305 Miss Feb. 2 Yes, he's seriously oversized, but plays low with great bending.  Basketball abilities make staff believe he won't play like a 6-10 stiff.
Amir Malayery Collins Hill
(Suwanee, GA)
6-5 255 Duke, Vand Jan. 12 Thought to be a guard, but arms and size could let him play tackle.  Ridiculously smart and driven kid who will make himself a success.


Defensive End (need 2-3)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Emmanuel Awofadeju Roswell
(Roswell, GA)
6-5 220 ND, Uva, Mary, Tul Feb. 2 Freaky, freaky athlete. Recruiting ratings don't do him justice, with his incredible quickness at his size.  Could play OLB until he fills out into the next Julian Jenkins.
Udeme Udofia Chaparral
(Scottsdale, AZ)
6-4 225 Unlv, Nev Dec. 23 Sleeper DE prospect with some quickness, but will be some time before this 16-yearold fills out.  Good motor and big upside.


Defensive Tackle (need 2-4)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Nick Frank Holy Cross
(New Orleans, LA)
6-2 245 Tul, Princ Oct. 17 Plays at a speed and with heart that make him an invaluable get at a position of huge need.  Named Defensive MVP in a talent-rich New Orleans metro area.  20 sacks and 127 tackles as a senior.
David Jackson Wesleyan
(Norcross, GA)
6-6 240 Princ, Vand, Lville Jan. 29 Late bloomer physically after he sprouted three inches.  Lean frame today will fill out and let him play DT or on the O-line.
Mike Macellari Clay
(South Bend, IN)
6-6 261 Pur Jan. 22 Recruitment never got sexy, but he narrowed down his schools very early.  Very strong athlete who will be also throw shot and discuss at Stanford at a high level.


Linebacker (need 1-2)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Landon Johnson Kennedale
(Kennedale, TX)
6-3 215 Rice, Mizz, Nav, Arm Feb. 3 Tom Williams loves this kid.  Big, but with a burst that could play all three LB positions.  Hidden gem.
Michael Okwo Mira Costa
(Manhattan Beach, CA) 
6-0 205 Usc, Ucla, Ore Feb. 5 Crazy late recruitment ended with admission at the 11th hour, right where he thought he'd be in the beginning.  Prolific RB (2000+ yards) and 130 tackles made him a SoCal star.  Named California LB of the year for 2002.


Defensive Back (need 3-4)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Brandon Harrison Catholic
(Baton Rouge, LA)
6-2 200 NW, Tul, Vand, LaTech Jan. 26 Made his name as a RB at a bigtime LA program, but safety is his likely destination at The Farm. 4.5 speed at his size is attractive.
Nick Sanchez Glades Day
(Belle Glade, FL)
6-0 175 Navy, Ohio, WV, Mizz Jan. 30 His athleticism will surprise you, excelling in every sport at every position he's played.  First-team all-state in Florida means something.


Kicker/Punter (need 1)
Name High School Vitals Colleges Commit Comments
Jay Ottovegio St Thomas Aquinas
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)
6-0 190 Ill, Ksu, UCF, GT, ColSt Jan. 15 Stanford finally gets a punter!  Will help first on kickoffs and punts, and will push the incumbents hard in his first year.  #2 in the nation, with a lot of improvement still ahead.


QB T.C. Ostrander

DT Nick Frank (with parents, right)

DB Nick Sanchez

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