Despite the fact that he had not even played the position before, Hayward (Calif.) athlete Austin Stafford had a strong showing at linebacker at the NIKE Camp at Stanford and was rated the No. 1 player at the position by the staff following the event. We thought Stafford would have blown up since the camp but only two colleges have stepped up and offered thus far.
Stafford, 6-2, 200 pounds played the entire junior season at defensive end and he'll do so once again as a senior.
"It's fun for me," Stafford said. "I like the competition and it's definitely not easy going up against those big tackles but I actually enjoy it. Every school is recruiting me as an outside linebacker but I'll stay on the line for one more year."
Stafford had a big junior season totaling 74 tackles, 17 for loss and 10 sacks a year ago. He has a great frame and really impressed us at the NIKE Camp with his overall athleticism and ability to cover, especially considering he was working out at a new position.
On the recruiting front, Nebraska and San Diego State remain the offers for Stafford.
"Those two are recruiting me the hardest right now still," Stafford said. "I hear a lot from Cal, Colorado and Oregon too and those are my top five schools. I don't really have a leader among that group and I plan to take as many trips as I can before making a decision. I haven't set any dates yet but I know I'll be visiting Nebraska and SDSU for sure.
"We have a couple of Thursday night games so hopefully I can take some of the visits during the season. I'm looking for a school where I can get a good education and where I'm comfortable with both the coaching staff and players on the team."