When Jamaree Salyer visited Stanford from March 4-5 it was the first time he’d been on The Farm since camping in June after his freshman year. In that time the young man from Pace Academy in Georgia developed into a five star and one of 2018’s top-10 overall players, according to Rivals.com.
Salyer made the trip with his parents and together they toured the facilities, watched practice and experienced a packed schedule meant to show as much of what Stanford has to offer as possible during a relatively short period of time.
“Stanford kind of sells itself,” he said. “For the most part I knew a lot about the school just based on what you hear and research. I was able to see the facilities and hear different coaches talk about different parts, and how the academic situation is set up there.
“I wanted to see the players, and how they were housed, and went through practice. I still want to see the game-day atmosphere they have there.”
Which means an official visit to Stanford is a possibility: “I believe so, yes.”
Salyer is not ready yet to name who will be his top five or seven schools, or who may get official visits. With offers from programs ranging from coast to coast, he plans to narrow his focus this summer on schools he feels most comfortable with. But he admits he’s hesitant to completely close the door on other schools while he tries to determine where he would fit best.
One potential drawback for Stanford is location. While there are a number of Georgians and players from nearby states on the Cardinal roster, Stanford is still a long way from home. He has talked to his parents about that issue.
“I love my family and I’m very close with them,” he said. “Going that far is definitely something we have to talk about. I have an uncle who lives out there, so I wouldn’t say I’d be stranded, but it’s definitely something to talk about because I’d be away from my immediate family.”
That said, Stanford made a positive impression on the Salyers: “I know my parents really loved it. It has the best of both worlds, which is really what they want for me. I know from sitting down and talking to them they really like the school a lot.”
Another priority for any recruit scouting various teams is whether he feels at ease with potential future teammates. Salyer was paired with Nate Herbig on his visit, and the "Big Island" made a positive impression while being able to describe life as a guard in the Stanford offense.
“He was a good host and I really enjoyed my time with him,” Salyer said.
The 2018 recruit also reacquainted himself with two of the standouts from Stanford’s 2017 class, Walker Little and Foster Sarell. Drew Dalman also was at Stanford that weekend, providing an opportunity for Salyer to see several members of a future Stanford line that the Cardinal coaches hope he will join.
Salyer knew Little and Sarell from last year’s Nike The Opening Finals. The incoming freshmen reminisced with Salyer about camps and recruiting.
If Salyer decides to continue his recruitment with Stanford, he’ll have another experience he can share with Little and Sarell, the work it takes in the classroom to be a member of the Cardinal class. Salyer said he benefits from attending a school that is “structured almost identical to Stanford.”
“I have experience with tough classes and a rigid football schedule,” he said. “I feel like I’m prepared for that. I have guys from my school who have gone to school at Stanford and play football. They said this place prepared them for a school like Stanford. I am confident that I’d be ready to make the transition from Pace Academy to Stanford.”
Stanford safety Denzel Franklin and walk-on linebacker Anthony Trinh are Pace graduates. Salyer was able to talk to Trinh on the visit and said it is “for sure” a benefit that he can get an opinion from a former teammate about Stanford.
The next couple months for Salyer will feature more unofficial visits, and he hopes to put together a shorter list by May or June of schools he's interested in attending.
“I believe so,” Salyer said of Stanford making the cut. “I know me and my family both like the school.”