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July 4, 2014

Inside the commitment: Nick Wilson

Stanford landed its highest-ranked commit in the 2015 class to date when four-star Georgia guard Nick Wilson made an Independence Day verbal pledge to the Cardinal.

Wilson made his commitment while on vacation with his family in Florida. However, faulty cell phone coverage almost thwarted his announcement plans.

"It was like 2:50 (Eastern Time, 10 minutes before the announcement) and I was stressing out trying to find some way to get this tweet out, or call some coaches," Wilson said. "I was trying to talk to Bloomgren and get this tweet out at the same time. We tried to have a little (commitment) ceremony and we kind of did but it was very stressful because I got the WiFi password and everything just as 3 o'clock struck."

But the wireless did hold up and Wilson announced his decision as planned, giving Stanford its second interior line commit of the 2015 class. North Carolina center Brian Chaffin committed to the Cardinal last month.

And though there was drama surrounding the announcement itself, Wilson's decision didn't come as a surprise. The Cardinal made a strong first impression when Wilson visited campus for Stanford's Junior Day back in the spring and have been near the top of his leaderboard ever since.

"When I visited my family I just fell in love with it," Wilson said. "I knew right from then with all my conversations with the current players and the coaches and everything that it was a really special place. They had a lot of guys exactly like me who value the same things I do, enjoy the same things I enjoy. Now that we're seeing some of the future recruits in my class and I'm getting to talk to some of them, that shows even more.

"They have a lot of kids like me, that's what interested me a lot. And also the coaches - I love all the coaches. They're definitely a unique group of guys. Getting to meet them while I was there got me really excited and got me thinking about potentially playing for them. Ever since then I've fallen in love with Stanford, and I decided today would be a good day to commit."

Wilson might have actually pulled the trigger for the Cardinal earlier in the year had it not been for Stanford's admissions process. The four-star lineman wanted to maximize his chances at earning admission to the school before committing.

"With Stanford you have to go through the whole application process, so that was a big reason why I didn't commit sooner," Wilson said. "(It was) stressful in that aspect, trying to keep my grades up. That's one way Stanford is really unique - you have to have good grades to go there as well. So school was stressful, but talking to the coaches was easy and I really enjoyed all the help and love I got from all the coaches. So that made me happy."

And while his decision might have been expected, Wilson said Stanford's coaches were excited to receive word that he was making his pledge to the Cardinal official.

"I had been kind of hinting at it that I wanted to commit," Wilson said. "So I don't think this came as a surprise to them at all. I've been letting them know that I've been wanting to do this for a while. I just called Coach Shaw this morning, talked to him, and called Bloomgren and talked to him. It was kind of hard with the cell phone situation.

"They seemed really happy. Coach Shaw said that he was excited about this class and about the whole group of guys and I'm excited too, getting to talk to some of them like Brian Chaffin and Arrington Farrar so far. And then Coach Bloomgren (reacted) the same way - he was excited about me and Chaffin, really. I found out (Chaffin and I are) very similar, just from talking to him. We both have the same top three, really. Of course he had NC State in his top four. But really similar, so Coach Bloomgren was happy about that, seeing that we'll potentially play right next to each other on the o-line. He was excited about that and I guess the one word (to describe the coaches' reaction to my commitment) would just be excited, I guess."

Wilson started the process of getting to know his future teammates even before he announced his commitment. He's kept in touch with fellow interior line commit Brian Chaffin and Arrington Farrar.

"I'm kind of a shy guy, I guess I would say," Wilson said. "I don't have the best time meeting new people or whatever. But these guys have made it kind of easy for me to like them. Obviously I haven't met with Brian Chaffin, but the first time I got to talk to Arrington I really took a liking to him. He seems like a great kid and so does Brian, whenever I meet him. So yeah, they're great kids. It's been pretty easy to build a relationship with them so far.

"I haven't really talked to them that much but I've actually been talking to Brian Chaffin a lot recently (over Twitter) and I guess Arrington is going to create a new commitment group text."

Like some of his fellow commits, Wilson plans on doing his best to help convince other prospects to join Stanford's 2015 recruiting class. Though he's not sure he'll recruit at the level of fellow commit Arrington Farrar - and really, few prospects do - Wilson is familiar with some of the Cardinal's other Georgia targets, and he plans to recruit them to The Farm.

(Specifically, Wilson and recent Stanford offer recipient Andrew Butcher actually work out together on a weekly basis. Butcher is currently committed to Tennessee.)

"I for sure won't be as (much of a recruiter as) Arrington," Wilson said. I'll tell you that. He's one of the best I've ever seen. But I'll for sure try. I'll try to talk to Butcher and Russell Ude - he came to one of the practices with Butcher one time. I've been trying to talk to them a little bit with Stanford. I would say probably I'll try my best to reach out and try to get some of those big guys that I know... For sure I would try to recruit some guys to Stanford like Butcher. I've gotten to know him over a lot of these years playing football with him."

Wilson will get a chance to give an in-person pitch to some of Stanford's top remaining targets later this month when he takes his second unofficial trip to The Farm. The Milton High School standout doesn't plan to participate in Stanford's late-July camp, but he is eager to spend more time with his future teammates and coaches.

"I think we're flying out there the 24th and I think we're going to meet up with the coaches on the 25th. We're going late this month. I can't wait for that.

"I don't think I'm going to work out... I think I'm just going to go there, hang out with the players. That was really why I chose that day, because all of the players are going to be there. Coach Bloomgren and Anderson and everyone said I could meet with the players and hang out with them for a little bit."

The next step in the Cardinal's recruitment of Wilson could be a decision from Stanford's admissions office. Wilson has already submitted his Stanford application, and recently improved his SAT score.

"I've finished it," Wilson said. "I turned it all in so it's there, it's in their hands. My old SAT score met their requirements and the coaches said that it's a good score and everything, but I took it again and I got an even better score, improved on every section. So now they're saying that I'm really solid… That gave me great confidence. That's why I guess I decided to commit."

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