It's early in the process for top members of the class of 2014. At this point, the standard thoughts concerning college decisions from juniors usually include the phrases "wide open" and "no favorites." South Jordan (Utah) Bingham tight end Dalton Schultz is taking the road less traveled.
That road is more transparent. Does Schultz have an early favorite? You bet he does. And he certainly doesn't mind sharing it.
"I like Stanford a lot," Schultz said on Sunday. "Coach (Lance) Anderson is recruiting me (for the Cardinal). That's the school I like a lot right now."
Stanford leads the pack early but that's subject to change as things progress. New schools are reaching out almost constantly. An offer from Hawaii came in somewhat recently and the heavy-hitters are sniffing around, too. Schultz returns from school every week with what he calls a "backpack full of mail." Sifting through paper has become an weekend ritual or sorts.
That said, not all recruiting propaganda is created equal. Some letters are more interesting that others.
"The number of letter I'm getting, it's … weird," he said. "Alabama always sends me letters in a huge, big envelope. It's always something about the NFL or something. I like those a lot. I always like Stanford's, too. They send me handwritten postcards."
Asked to project which school may offer next, Schultz reluctantly takes a few guesses. He names Arizona State, Oklahoma and Nebraska, but doesn't pretend to be blessed with ability to see the future. You know, that whole thing about counting chickens and all.
"I don't know if I can say for sure on that, though," Schultz said. "It's hard to tell. I guess I don't really know"
His upcoming schedule does not include a single unofficial visit. Instead, Schultz and his family intend to schedule the next round of those in the offseason. A trip to check out Oklahoma has been discussed. So have ones to California and Stanford. Schultz also says he'd like to make his way to the Northwest to see Oregon at some point because he "loves Oregon" and has family in the area.
He's also eyeing Florida as a possible destination, but that's just a matter of simple convenience.
"I'm going to the All-American combine in Florida in January," he said. "We might check out Florida if they would want that. I mean, we'll be there anyway.
Schultz, who currently holds six offers, projects as one of the top players in Utah for the class of 2014. His Bingham team boasts an 8-1 record and has outscored its nine opponent 333-116.