STANFORD, Calif. - Lane Veach had two good reasons to play football at Arizona State. His father, Scott, played football for four years for the Sun Devils, while his mother, Shannon, played four years of basketball for Arizona State.
Even with those ties, Veach still committed to Stanford.
“They never pressured me to go there,” said the 6-foot-6, 233-pound outside linebacker from Chandler, Ariz. “They just wanted what was best for me and Stanford was what was best for me.”
Veach was a two-way starter at Perry High School. He finished with 70 career tackles and 11.5 sacks, and caught 31 passes for 390 yards and three touchdowns playing tight end. He was also the team’s long snapper. He accomplished these stats playing in only 12 games career games due to injuries.
“I rarely came off the field,” Veach said. “That was really fun.”
In the penultimate last game last season, Veach tore the meniscus in his knee during the first half.
“I went to the trainer and said something is obviously wrong and she said, ‘Well, we can tape it up. Not much else I can do right now.’ " Veach said. "So I decided to play and ended up having the best defensive game of my career.”
Veach also lettered in basketball and volleyball.
“It’s fun getting to mix with other teams,” he said. “You love the football guys, but it’s cool to have friends on the other teams.”
Former Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason, now the head coach at Vanderbilt, and current defensive coordinator Lance Anderson visited Veach at his high school last year and encouraged him to attend a Stanford football camp.
Veach insisted he didn’t stress out during his visit.
“The weird thing is when I came here – and it sounds cliché – but I was just comfortable,” he said. “There wasn’t much pressure and the coaches were all super helpful. I was just focusing on doing my best.”
Named the nation’s 100th-best outside linebacker by ESPN, it didn’t take long for Stanford to grow on Veach.
“I was always interested in Stanford because I played tight end and that’s what my dad played," Veach said. "I always looked up to my dad as a player and Stanford was like a tight end factory, so I liked them more and more.”
He also bonded quickly with his new teammates.
“With all the social media nowadays, when people would commit, I would just send a message out like, ‘Hey, I’m Lane. Just reach out to me and we can talk some time.’ I felt like we were all close before we even met each other.”
Veach took summer school classes in Introduction to Decision Making and Physics 51. The latter focused on astronomy.
“I really liked that class because we got to go up to the observatory once a week to do labs and looked at stars and plants,” he said. “It was neat, other than the fact that it went until midnight. That was hard with football the next day.”
Ultimately, Veach would like to get involved with environmental engineering or something with renewable energy or sustainability.
“I just want to experiment and explore my options,” said Veach.
Which is another reason he chose Stanford.
“At one point in time, everybody’s career is going to end; you can’t play football forever,” Veach said. “With what you can gain here -- networking and getting your degree -- the possibilities are endless for how far you can go.”