Feb. 2, 2000
Tyrone Willingham Press Conference - Cardinal coach answers questions about 2000 recruiting class.
STANFORD, Calif. - Twelve high school student-athletes today signed national letters-of-intent to enroll at Stanford University in the Fall of 2000 and join the Cardinal football program.
Head coach Tyrone Willingham, who led the Cardinal to the Pac-10 championship and the school's first Rose Bowl appearance in 28 years, said he is pleased with the group that includes seven prep All-Americans among the 12 recruits.
"We added a solid group of student-athletes to our team," said Willingham. "I felt we covered all positions, with the exception of placekicker and punter, with athletes who we feel will make a positive contribution to the Stanford football program. They all have the ability to grow and become outstanding football players. The possibility exists that some of them may emerge and be able to help our football team in the near future," he said.
Once again, the Cardinal's recruiting efforts were national in scope and included both the U.S. and Canada. Stanford's 12 recruits included 11 from the U.S. and one from Canada. Also, 10 states were represented with only California (two) having more than one recruit. Stanford recruited players from Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The Cardinal recruited five players on offense,five on defense and two that can play on either side of the ball. By position, Stanford recuited three cornerbacks, a linebacker and end on defense, a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and tackle on offense along with the two players with undetermined positions.
Although the class is small in numbers with only 12 recruits, Willingham indicated he is pleased with the overall quality. Seven of the 12 were named prep All-Americans, including ILB David Bergeron (Lake Oswego, OR), OT Kwame Harris (Newark, DE), RB Brandon Royster (Fairfax, VA), DE Scott Scharff (Wisconsin Rapids, WI), WR Nick Sebes (Mount Carmel, PA), TE Alex Smith (Denver, CO) and TE Will Svitek (Newbury Park, CA).
Three of the Cardinal recruits are considered among the top six in the nation at their position. Harris, a 6-7, 320-pound left tackle, is the consensus #1 offensive lineman in the country. He was ranked by BlueChips as the second best recruit in the nation and was on everyone's list as a first-team All-America. Royster was ranked among the top eight running backs in the country by several recruiting publications and as high as the #2 running back in the nation, Svitek, another consensus All-America, was ranked as the #6 tight end in the nation by Super Prep.
2000 Stanford Football Recruiting Class
|Name||Pos||Ht.||Wt.||Birthdate||Hometown (High School)|
|O.J. Atogwe||CB||5-11||180||6-23-81||Windsor, Ont., CAN (W.F. Herman)|
|David Bergeron||LB||6-4||245||12-4-81||Lake Oswego, OR (Lakeridge)|
|Ryan Eklund||QB||6-7||205||7-9-82||Federal Way, WA (Decatur)|
|Kwame Harris||OT||6-7||320||3-15-82||Newark, DE (Newark)|
|Kenneth McCandless||RB/DB||6-1||190||12-16-81||Albuquerque, NM (Valley)|
|Brandon Royster||RB||6-0||195||3-23-82||Fairfax, VA (Fairfax)|
|Scott Scharff||DE||6-5||245||2-7-82||Wisconsin Rapids, WI (Lincoln)|
|Nick Sebes||WR||5-11||175||6-4-81||Mount Carmel, PA (Mount Carmel)|
|Alex Smith||TE||6-5||220||5-22-82||Denver, CO (Mullen)|
|Will Svitek||TE/DE||6-7||235||1-8-82||Newbury Park, CA (Newbury Park)|
|Leigh Torrence||CB||6-0||175||1-4-82||Atlanta, GA (Marist)|
|Stanley Wilson||CB||6-0||175||11-5-82||Carson, CA (Bishop Montgomery)|
CB, 5-11, 180, Windsor, Ontario, CAN
One of the top prep players in Canada. Named All-Canadian, All-Ontario and All-Academic. Played four sports at W.F. Herman Secondary School in Windsor, Ontario. In football, was a two-year starter at running back and cornerback. Last season, he was named the league's defensive MVP. Also chosen All-City as a running back. Played in the Ontario Varsity Football League during the summer of '99. He was the defensive back of the year in the league after intercepting six passes in five games. League MVP in basketball last season. Three-time all-city selection in basketball. Played three years of varsity soccer. Competes in the long jump, triple jump and 200m (22.8) in track. First name is Oshiomogho. Parents are of Nigerian decent.
LB, 6-4, 245, Lake Oswego, OR
A prep All-America by Super Prep, Prep Star, Bluechips and USA Today. Started at right guard and inside linebacker the past two seasons at Lakeridge High School in Oregon. Super Prep named him the top recruit in the state. Also named Northwest Recruits first-team all-region and a Tacoma News Tribune Northwest Nugget and Western Top 100. Recorded 126 tackles, six quarterback sacks, three interceptions, five caused fumbles and six recovered fumbles as a senior. Following his senior season, he was also named first-team all-state and all-conference as a linebacker as well as being chosen the league's co-defensive MVP. U.S. Navy Scholastic All-America selection and a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Student-Athlete award nominee. As a junior, he recorded 124 tackles, started at both linebacker and right guard and was selected first-team all-conference. Two-year letterwinner in basketball and track. Member of the A Cappella Choir. Will perform at Carnegie Hall in March, 2000 as part of an elite show choir in high school that combines song and dance routines. Member of the National Honor Society.
QB, 6-7, 205, Federal Way, WA
Great size and potential from Decatur High School in Washington. Named to Super Prep's All-Farwest Team and to PrepStar's All-West Region squad. Threw for 2,172 yards and 18 TDs while completing 64% of his passes during his senior season. First-Team all-state and all-area. As a junior, he threw for 1,769 yards and 17 touchdowns. Four-year letterwinner in baseball. Plays first base and pitcher. Honorable mention all-league as a junior. Member of the National Honor Society. Finished fifth in the national go-cart racing championships in the 12-16 age group competition in 1997 and '98. Father, Bill, played football at Washington State.
OT, 6-7, 320, Newark, DE
One of the nation's prized recruits. Kwame was recognized as the top offensive line prospect in the country this past season from Newark High School in Delaware. He was a unanimous All-America selection and generally considered the best prep offensive lineman in the nation. Parade All-America. PrepStar named him to their "Dream Team" and ranked him as the #1 offensive lineman in the nation. Super Prep also chose Kwame as an All-America, the #1 offensive lineman in the country and the #9 overall recruit in the nation. Named to Max Emfinger's "Elite Team" . Emfinger ranked Kwame the #2 recruit in the country . USA Today first-team All-America. Gatorade State Player of the Year in Delaware . PrepsStar's Atlantic Region MVP. three-time first-team all-state selection. first-team all-state as a defensive lineman following his senior season. Member of the National Honor Society. Plays the violin in his high school orchestra. Has played the piano for 11 years. Born in Jamaica before moving to the United States at age two.
RB/CB, 6-1, 190, Albuquerque, NM
First-team all-state running back from Valley High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Also played cornerback and free safety. Academic All-State. USA Today honorable mention All-America. Played basketball for three years in high school. Runs the 100m and 200m on the track team. Best is 10.8 in the 100m. Placed second in the district as a junior in both the 100m and 200m.
RB, 6-0, 195, Fairfax, VA
A consensus first-team All-America from Fairfax High School in Virginia. Ranked as the #2 running back in the nation by Max Emfinger's BlueChips, #3 by PrepStar, #6 by Super Prep and #8 by Parade Magazine. Super Prep named him the #1 recruit in the state of Virginia. First-Team All-America selection by Parade, Super Prep and PrepStar. As a senior, he gained 1,693 yards on 223 carries while scoring 21 touchdowns: 18 rushing and three receiving. Gained over 5,000 yards on the ground in his prep career. Rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his four high school seasons. Also had three interceptions and two forced fumbles as a defensive back. first-team all-state, all metro and all-area as a senior. Named the state's Player of the Year by the Washington Touchdown Club. Rushed for over 1,200 yards and scored 18 touchdowns as a junior. Brandon is also a national caliber track athlete. His bests include a 24-9 in the long jump and 14.2 in the 110 high hurdles. As a junior, he placed second in the state indoor championships in both the long jump and triple jump. Participated in the National Junior Olympics in the long jump. Member of the Latin Honor Society and National Honor Society.
DE, 6-5, 245, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
One of the top defensive lineman in the nation out of Lincoln High School in Wisconsin. Scott was named a USA Today honorable mention All-America and All-Midwest by PrepStar and Super Prep. He had 15 quarterback sacks and 29 tackles for loss as a senior. Named Wisconsin Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year as well as being chosen first-team all-state. He was also first-team all-conference and all-region. In high school, he participated in powerlifting, track, baseball and the co-ed cheer and stunt team. Member of the National Honor Society.
WR, 5-11, 175, Mount Carel, PA
Tremendous athlete who played quarterback, running back, wide receiver and free safety last season at Mount Carmel High School in Pennsylvannia. Named prep All-America by Super Prep and PrepStar as an "athlete". Super Prep ranked him as the #6 recruit in the state while PrepStar rated him as the #3 "athlete" in the east. USA Today honorable mention All-America. ?As a senior, he started the season at quarterback before being moved to wide receiver and running back. Started the entire year at free safety, collecting 70 tackles and six interceptions. Offensively, he rushed for over 700 yards, threw for over 500 yards and had over 300 yards receiving. First-team all-state as a free safety. As a junior, he played QB the entire season and earned first-team all-state honors while also being selected the state small schools Player of the Year. He threw for over 1,100 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for over 1,000 yards while scoring 15 more TDs. In track, he won the state 400m a year ago with a personal best of 49.28. His other bests are 10.7 in the 100m and 21.8 in the 200m. Member of the National Honor Society.
TE, 6-5, 220, Denver, CO
Super Prep first-team All-America. One of the top tight end prospects in the nation. PrepStar named him to their All-Midlands Team. First-team all-state and all-league following his senior season. After catching 12 balls for 207 yards and two TDs as a junior, Smith came on as a senior to catch 35 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns. Helped Mullen High School win the state 5A championship as a junior. Three-year varsity letterwinner in basketball and four-year letterwinner in track. Earned all-league and all-state recognition as a junior in basketball. Track events are the high jump and 400m. Placed eighth in the state as a junior in the high jump with a best of 6-5. Father, Edwin, played in the NFL with the Denver Broncos from 1973-76. Alex is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.
TE/DE, 6-7, 235, Newbury Park, CA
Great athlete who was considered one of the top recuits in the nation. A prep All-America selection by Super Prep, PrepStar, Cal Hi Student Sports and Max Emfinger's Bluechips. Honorable mention All-America by USA Today. Super Prep ranked him the #6 tight end in the nation and the 11th best recruit in the far west. PrepStar rated Svitek the #2 tight end in the west. He recorded 48 receptions for 624 yards and four touchdowns as a senior at Newbury Park High School in southern California. As a defensive end, he had 87 tackles, nine sacks and five forced fumbles. Named first-team all-league, county and CIF as a defensive end. Second-team all-state as a tight end. had 21 receptions and was named first-team all-league as a junior . Two-time national decathlon champion. He won the 15-16 decathlon age group championship at the USA Youth Track and Field Championships in 1997 and '98. In 1999, he placed second in the 17-18 age group. 1999 CIF champion in the shot put (57-6). His other bests include 22-1 in the long jump and 159-7 in the discus. Three-year letterwinner in basketball. Second-team all-league as a junior. Writes a weekly column for the Thousand Oaks Acorn, a local newspaper in his community. Member of the California Scholastic Federation. Born in the Czech Republic of Prague. His father, Milan, was a member of the Czech National Track Team.
CB, 6-0, 175, Atlanta, GA
Has great speed and cover skills. Opposing offenses stayed away from Torrence last season. Started at both cornerback and running back and was a tremendous return threat. Named to the All-Dixie team by Super Prep. Recorded 49 tackles, 12 pass break-ups and two interceptions a year ago at Marist High School in Georgia. As a running back, he rushed for 627 yards on 69 carries. Scored 12 touchdowns in 1999, six rushing, four receiving, one kickoff return (95 yards) and one punt return (63 yards). Runs track as well. Bests include 10.82 in the 100m and 21.8 in the 200m. National Merit semifinalist.
CB, 6-0, 175, Carson, CA
Named All-Farwest by Super Prep. Played both running back and cornerback for Bishop Montgomery High School in southern California. As a running back, he gained 1,206 yards and scored 16 touchdowns along with two receiving touchdowns. Had one interception and 40 tackles as a CB. Named the Angelus League Player of the Year. First-Team All-CIF Division VII as a running back. Member of the Los Angeles Times All-Star team as a cornerback. Second-team all-league running back as a sophomore. Made the CIF finals in both the 100m and 200m last season. Best is 10.5 in the 100m. Son of former NFL player Stanley Wilson, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals.