January 17, 2011

Stanford talks offers

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With the college football season officially over, coaches are turning their full attention back to the recruiting trail in hopes of finishing the 2011 class strong and getting a head start on the junior class. In the state of Ohio, no junior has seen his stock rise in recent months like Dwayne Stanford. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound wide receiver from Taft High School in Cincinnati went from a virtual unknown a few months ago to now boasting one of the most impressive early offer lists in the country.

"So far I've got offers from Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Kentucky, and Florida State," Stanford said.

The sudden wave of attention has been a bit overwhelming for Stanford and right now he is just trying to take everything in stride and evaluate his situation closely.

"It's been real good," said Stanford of the offers. "I feel like now I just have to keep working harder. I've set high standards for myself and I just need to keep working to get better and improve to show these people why I'm being recruited by some of the top schools."

At the moment, Stanford isn't claiming any favorite schools as he is still trying to learn more about all of his suitors. With that being said, Stanford has certainly become very familiar with the Ohio State program over the past few months.

"I went to the Ohio State/Miami game, the Ohio State/Michigan game, and I went up for one of their bowl practices before they beat Arkansas," Stanford explained. "I liked (the campus) a lot. I love Ohio State. I was born in Canton, Ohio and all of my family is from Ohio and they all would like me to go to Ohio State. They are a great program that I really like and when it comes down to it, Ohio State will definitely be one of the top schools that I'm looking to go to."

With the recent offer from the Buckeyes, Stanford becomes the second member of Taft's 2012 class to receive a verbal offer along with defensive end Adolphus Washington. The two combine as a formidable duo on both the gridiron and the hardwood for Taft and have become good friends.

"I talk to him all the time about (recruiting)," Stanford said. "He's been a lot of help since he basically (was being recruited) a year (before) me so I've been leaning on him for advice."

While the two aren't necessarily a package deal, there has been plenty of talk about them possibly ending up at the same school.

"We talk about that almost every day," Stanford explained. "We talk about what schools he likes and what schools I like and we would definitely like to play together in college. It's not like a priority or anything but it's definitely something we would like to do since we have been together since the fifth grade."

The outstanding tandem started out as AAU basketball teammates in elementary school.

Not only do both prospects hold a verbal offer from the Buckeyes, but many schools from the around the nation have followed suit, including a handful of Southeastern Conference programs. The attention from schools outside of the Midwest has been a humbling experience for Stanford.

"I'm just flattered that they want me," he said. "The SEC has great receivers in Julio Jones, A.J. Green, and (Alshon Jeffery). They like big receivers and I'm just glad that they think that I could be one of those top receivers like those guys."

For now, much of Stanford's attention is placed on the basketball court as Taft currently sits in first place in the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference.


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