MORE: Rivals100: Class of 2014
He has family ties to Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State, but could 2014 Rivals100 offensive tackle Alex Bars be set to blaze his own college trail?
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The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Bars recently picked up an offer from Stanford. He had been waiting for an offer from the Cardinal for quite a while.
"They called me and let me know that (head) coach (David) Shaw and (offensive line) coach [Mike] Bloomgren loved my film and they wanted to go ahead and offer me," Bars said. "I was really excited. It's a really great option with the balance of academics, and I know the program and the staff are great. It's going to be a serious option."
Bars is planning to take an unofficial trip to Palo Alto this spring, assuming his parents agree. He said he has family in the area, which should help make the trip a reality.
Also recently stepping up to the plate with an offer was Virginia, a program he became familiar with a few years ago when the Cavaliers were recruiting his older brother.
"I visited there a couple years ago, so I know a little bit about the program and the campus," Bars said. "They're pretty great academically as well."
Bars said earning offers from schools with prestigious academic backgrounds is flattering, but he added that elite academic programs are a "bonus" and not necessarily the main factor in his decision-making process.
Over the past month, Bars has seen visits from several head coaches, including Ohio State's Urban Meyer, Florida's Will Muschamp, Tennessee's Butch Jones, Vanderbilt's James Franklin and Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson.
Bars said Meyer and the coaches at Ohio State have been persistent in their pursuit.
"They've been by a bunch of times," he said. "They just want to keep that relationship with me and want me to visit campus. They said they want to get me up there as soon as possible."
Fellow Big Ten school Penn State continues to make a push, with Bars' older brother and current Nittany Lions offensive lineman Brad Bars leading the way.
"It would be cool to be able to play with him," Alex Bars said. "I've been getting a little more texts from him since they offered. He was really excited about it. He wants to get me up there to hang out and show me around and stuff like that."
With his team's basketball playoffs in full swing, Bars won't be taking any visits until his season ends. At that point, he plans on taking quite a few trips.
"I want to go to Ohio State, Florida and South Carolina," he said. "Then I want to check in on the new staff at Tennessee and see how they're doing over there."