Father George Farmer III (the 2011 WR is, unsurprisingly, George Farmer IV) played seven years in the NFL, so the family knows the ins-and-outs of college recruiting firsthand. And one thing the family definitely knows is this: when you're one of the most highly-sought prospects in the country, there is absolutely no need to rush.
"George is just real busy right now," George Farmer III told The Bootleg in a Sunday night interview. "He just finished basketball season. Yesterday, he won his division's 100-meter dash with a 10.6. Next Saturday, hopefully he'll qualify to go to States. So we haven't had time to sit down and think. He has upward of 25 offers."
With several dozen offers, the family has taken a workmanlike approach to the youngest George's recruitment. It's George Farmer III, for example, who talks with reporters, leaving George IV freer to concentrate on his high school life.
"We've just gone about our business," George Farmer III said. "He just took the SAT and qualified. We've done all the other things. So we will sit down and deal with [narrowing the list] when the season gets started."
Still, the Farmers have managed to visit some campuses – including one in Palo Alto.
"We've seen some local colleges," said George Farmer III, a former wide receiver at Louisiana's Southern University, who then played for the LA Rams and Miami Dolphins from 1982-1987. "His mom took him up to Stanford on an unofficial a long time ago. We go to some different colleges around here. But again, it's kind of tough for us to pack up and go because he always has some event to do. It's not like we haven't thought about it, but every weekend, we're involved in something, and it's how do we squeeze everything in? Other kids don't have as many other sports."
Indeed, that the younger George is not just a football player is a theme his father emphasized repeatedly throughout the conversation. Take note, college recruiters.
"George is not just a football player," his dad said. "He's won state championships in two sports already, so I try not to put too much pressure on him [in football]. … He's not just a football player. He's a fantastic student, in my opinion. And given the things he's done, he's probably one of the most humble guys you're ever going to meet. A school's going to be getting one good individual, a really good kid."
The mention of academics is always of interest to the Stanford fan well aware of the school's heightened admissions requirements. Of note, George IV received a 1200 on the three-part SAT and has a core GPA of 3.25, per his father.
"An education, the academics -- that's the most important thing in a school," George Farmer III said. "I explained to my son a long time ago, you're always one play away from getting hurt, so you want to pick a school where if you get hurt, you'll still enjoy still going there. They can place you on medical leave and you still go there if you're injured, so you want to make sure you really like attending there if you're hurt and can't play, and have to fall back on academics.
"And George is taking honors courses, that's exactly what he's taking. He's done everything he's had to do to get himself into this position. I've never had to get on him about grades because we started working on him early, when he was in seventh and eighth grade, and that's where it starts. He was able to figure out smart time management and kind of took it from there.
"He knows whatever school he goes to, he'll be really competitive in the classroom. All the kids are, and that helps when you're around a lot of kids competing not just on the athletic field, but in the classroom too."
George III also isn't shy about his role in his son's recruiting process, and the perspective his own experiences provide.
"I'm able to cycle through what's true and what's not," he said. "Some things coaches mention, I already know. I've trained George since he was seven years old. I know what he's capable of doing. If a coach tells me he's going to come and play right now, that's believable, but they're all telling me that. My answer is a little different: why wouldn't he?
"Basically his momma knows what I've been through and that I know how this works and what the variables are in where he goes to college. She knows I've been down this road, and she wants him to be where he wants to be. He looks more to his dad. … He listens to what I tell him."
George III says he's not sure what his son might want to study in college, though he has talked about wanting to be an engineer or a pilot. One thing the father does know, however, is exactly when his son is going to make public his choice of college.
"He's going to announce at the Army All-American game," George III said. "That's what he wants. That's the conclusion he came to. I've had mine, so that's fine with me."
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