Hemschoot hems between three finalists

Though late to arrive on Stanford's radar, 2010 Lakewood, Colo. linebacker Joe Hemschoot (Hem-SCOTT) is far from a desperate last-gasp recruit for the Cardinal. The three-star prospect reports offers from Stanford and Colorado, a pending offer and visit from Oregon, and will choose between those three schools. Oh, and his grades are stellar.

Like 22 other recruits, Joe Hemschoot found himself on Stanford's campus last weekend for his official visit. And in a Monday night interview with The Bootleg, Hemschoot said all the things Stanford fans hoped he would.

"It was great," he said. "I got to meet all the coaches, and I met the rest of the recruits. Everyone was really cool. I had a really good time. I got to go on campus a little bit, see everything, and even meet with professors. I liked it."

From Stanford's perspective, one possible fly in the ointment (well, other than Oregon and Colorado) is the fact that the Cardinal have yet to finish filling out their coaching staff. As such, Hemschoot was unable to meet with his future position coach.

"There was no linebackers coach there, who probably I would like to meet, but Coach Hart on the DL was nice, and Coach Harbaugh was nice," Hemschoot said. "[Harbaugh]'s been recruiting me from the start and he's been really good to me."

To say Hemschoot's recruitment got off to a late start is to phrase manners mildly. In fact, he sent out his highlight tape sufficiently late that he didn't start getting recruited by schools until late December or early January.

"I sent [my tape] to the whole Pac-10 and the whole Big 12," he said. "Colorado's been recruiting me hard, and then Oregon as well. USC was, but with everything going on there, no one has called me back. Oregon State called me back. But who's really pursued me? Stanford, Colorado and Oregon."

Indeed, Hemschoot has Stanford and Colorado offers in hand, and says he will receive an Oregon offer this weekend, when he makes an official visit to Eugene. The future linebacker is listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, and runs a 4.61 40-yard dash.

"I go to Lakewood High School," Hemschoot said. "We play in the Big Eight, the best conference in the state. We had to move up to 5A, the top division, because of increased enrollment from the IB [International Baccalaureate] program at our school, so our football program is not quite there. We were 2-8. I personally had 18 touchdowns and over 2,000 combined yards as quarterback, and then 141 tackles in 10 games. I was First Team All-State as a specialist, because I played quarterback and linebacker, and then First Team All-Conference."

Hemschoot adds that he has narrowed down his finalists to Oregon, Colorado and Stanford. He thinks it most likely that he plays outside linebacker in college, but adds that he's flexible and would play wherever he best fits.

Academically, Hemschoot also looks to be an easy fit for Stanford. He reports he turned in his application on his visit, but with a 3.82 GPA and a 30 on his ACT, one would think he's in pretty strong shape. Hemschoot was in the IB program his freshman year, and is in AP Calculus this year.

"I'll find out later this week, hopefully," Hemschoot said of his admissions status. "Coach Anderson handled everything. I gave [my application] to him the first hour I got there on Friday, and he turned all that in. I just sent in my last part [Monday]."

Still, admission to Stanford won't matter one iota for the Cardinal or Hemschoot should the linebacker end up in Boulder or Eugene. And if Hemschoot has any favorites, he isn't tipping his hand publicly.

"It's definitely a tough one," he said. "I haven't been to Oregon yet, but I've heard great things, and I had great times at Colorado and Stanford. It's going to come down to overall feel: the campus, the coaches, the players, the recruits, the reputation… Of course, Stanford has it there [reputation], but it's a combination of a lot of things, a real tough decision.

"The campus kind of plays into it, but it's beautiful everywhere I'm going to go, all three options. Oregon was obviously in the Rose Bowl and Stanford is right up there in the Pac-10 and on the rise. Even Colorado's on the rise. Really, there's no one where with the prestige of the program, you don't have pretty good options. So it's tough to single out anyone."

Academically, Hemschoot sees himself as a pre-med student, and anticipates majoring in a health science like physiology or kinesthesiology.

"I'd like to go to med school if I don't go to the NFL," he said.

Not a sentence you hear every day, so keep your eyes on Joe Hemschoot as we head down the final recruiting stretch.

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