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July 30, 2014

Arcega-Whiteside talks Stanford commitment

Stanford added its first wide receiver commitment in more than two years on Wednesday when top South Carolina wideout J.J. Arcega-Whiteside announced for the Cardinal.

Francis Owusu was the last wide receiver recruit to commit to the Cardinal; he did so on June 18, 2012. Stanford didn't sign a wide receiver in its 2014 recruiting class.

Arcega-Whiteside committed to Stanford over finalists Michigan State, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest.

"I'm going to go to Stanford," Arcega-Whiteside said. "I chose Stanford because it is the best combination of football and academics. They're a really good program built on really good philosophies. The players, the coaches and the people there are all smart and intelligent, and I want to feed off of that and surround myself with well-educated people."

Arcega-Whiteside officially committed to Stanford's coaching staff on Tuesday night.

"I called them two days ago (on Monday) to see if everything was good to go, if I could (commit) if I wanted to," Arcega-Whiteside said. "They said, 'Of course we'll take you.' And then I did it officially yesterday. They were all excited. They all got on the phone and congratulated me. They all got together and congratulated me, all of the offensive coaching staff. So they were pretty excited and of course we were pretty excited as well.

"First I called Coach Taylor to make sure everything was still set and he said it was so I gave Coach Shaw a call and we made it official. He said it's all good, they really want me, they're going to take me and I'm going to have a spot no matter what. We talked to the rest of the coaches; it was kind of a surprise because I thought I was just talking to Coach Shaw and then everybody else was on the phone wanting to congratulate me."

The three-star receiver committed to the Cardinal shortly after returning home from an unofficial visit to The Farm. But while he enjoyed the trip, it wasn't necessarily the primary factor in his decision.

"The only thing that I really wanted to do was go out there and see the place and get a feel for the place," Arcega-Whiteside said. "The visit was great. Everything was nice out there, all the way up to the weather. But that wasn't what was the deciding factor."

Still, Arcega-Whiteside's already-high opinion of Stanford was certainly validated on the visit.

"When I got out there I had no doubt in my mind," he said.

In addition to participating in Stanford's Junior Day and camp, Arcega-Whiteside got to spend time with the trio of Cardinal commits who also visited last weekend: Jake Bailey, Brian Chaffin and Nick Wilson.

"They're all really good, nice people," Arcega-Whiteside said. "They were all with me the whole time, pointing out everything and showing me the little details. They were basically recruiting me also. As people and as players I really respect them and I look forward to playing with them."

Arcega-Whiteside's primary recruiter has been running back coach Lance Taylor. The Dorman High School standout has also been in touch with offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren, head coach David Shaw, and quarterbacks/receivers coach Tavita Pritchard.

"(Stanford's coaches) told me of course that a scholarship to Stanford is a big thing because they don't offer a lot of guys, so they really genuinely want me out there to offer me," Arcega-Whiteside said. "They say that I have the academics to do it out there and they said they're going to be graduating a lot of wide receivers these next couple of years so I might have the chance to play early. Of course, I have to prove myself before anything. So that's just kind of what the coaching staff has been telling me."

Arcega-Whiteside is familiar with Stanford's admissions process and said that he is "probably going to start (the application) today".

Get the scoop on Stanford's Saturday Night Lights camp and recent recruiting developments on the Farm Report, Cardinal Sports Report's subscriber-only message board.

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