One of the surprises at Stanford's all-positions camp last month was the emergence of under the radar offensive lineman AJ McFarlane. An unheralded prospect from Vancouver, British Columbia, McFarlane held his own against high-caliber opponents in a variety of drills, and distinguished himself with an aggressive style of play.
"The Stanford camp was a lot of fun," McFarlane said. "I had never before experienced such a high level of competition, and I loved it. I exchanged information with a few of the coaches at Stanford, so I'm thinking there's a chance we'll be staying in touch."
Unlike the vast majority of participants in Stanford's camp, McFarlane has already completed his high school education. The 6-foot-2, 297-pound lineman reclassified from the 2014 class to 2015. He'll do a post-grad year at Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts before beginning his college career in the fall of 2015.
"I made the decision to attend a prep school for a post-graduate year to further develop myself both as a student and an athlete," McFarlane said. "Attending a prep school will allow me to transition easier into the college lifestyle, as well as give me an extra year to grow as a football player."
McFarlane added that a broken leg suffered early in his senior season impacted his recruitment; prior to that (and prior to the reclassification) he was in touch with Princeton, Colorado and Penn, among others.
Following his year at prep school, McFarlane hopes to continue his football career at an academically-oriented top-tier football program.
"I'd like to play at the (FBS) level while still keeping the academic standards high," McFarlane said. "If a school had those two factors, chances are I'd be interested in playing for them."
McFarlane thinks Stanford fits the description.
"I'm quite interested in the Stanford football program; Stanford's the kind of school I'd like to play for." McFarlane said. "What attracts me more than their football, however, is their high academic standards they carry at the school."
McFarlane reports a 3.8 GPA and is thinking about pursuing engineering in college; he hasn't decided on the specific discipline, but is considering chemical, civil, or environmental.
McFarlane is still waiting on his first college offer, but he has received interest from schools in the U.S. and Canada. He attended camps at Washington, Colorado, Princeton and Penn last summer; Stanford was his only camp stop this summer.
He likely projects as a center on the next level.
"I feel the best position for me at the college level would be center," McFarlane said. "I'm 6-foot-2, a generally good height for a center to provide a passing lane over the middle for the quarterback."