November 6, 2008

Amanam staying close to home

With a recruiting base that spreads across the entire country, Stanford has its pick of top prospects from any state. However, in the case of Usua Amanam, the Stanford staff had to travel only a few miles from campus to find an elite prospect in its own back yard.

Growing up close to Palo Alto, Stanford was always a dream school for Amanam. He recently found out that he had been accepted to Stanford, which was a dream come true.

"It was a big sigh of relief when I found out I was admitted," the three-star athlete said. "Stanford is a great school and just the fact that I got offered by Stanford created a lot of opportunities for me. Being admitted was definitely the icing on the cake. Stanford has definitely been a dream school of mine."

Despite averaging three touchdowns per game in the ultra-competitive WCAL, Amanam is much more focused on the success of his Bellarmine prep team.

"I honestly haven't been checking my personal stats that much. The main thing is making sure that my team is doing well."

One of the great features that Usua brings to the table is his unique versatility. This has caused many people to wonder what position he will play at Stanford.

"I was recruited as an offensive player. I think I will probably play a z-back type position on offense. If it were up to me, I would play wherever Coach Harbaugh wants me to play."

Through the recruiting process, Amanam was able to build a very close relationship with the Stanford staff.

"I live 20 minutes away from Stanford, so I'm up there a lot. I have a really close bond with Coach Dalman. He is the main recruiter for this area. Coach Harbaugh is a really cool guy, super down to earth, but he's crazy (laughs).

"The entire staff is younger than a lot of staffs out there and they relate to everyone a lot better then the older coaching staffs. They are all really cool guys."

Usua has also been able to build a great relationship with his fellow recruits and commits.

"Our relationship is really good. Shayne Skov lives out near where I do, and Zach Ertz lives like 30 minutes away. Over the summer, a lot of guys from the east coast and the south came out here. We spent time together and exchanged numbers. Most of the guys are a lot like me, so we get along well. Most of the commits have formed a close bond, and it has been really cool."

While Amanam excels on the football field at a high level, academics play a very important part in his life.

"I mean, there is no question that Stanford academics are unmatched by any Division I school. When Stanford showed interest in me, I was so happy to play for this storied program. Academics are honestly one of the most important things in my life. I definitely want to do business and open a small business like my dad."

Like seemingly every other commit and recruit, Amanam will be visiting for the January 9th weekend.

"Of course I will be there January 9th. I would consider that my 'official visit'. I am not visiting anywhere else. I just want to focus on my high school team and our season."

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