November 3, 2008

Emilien looking west

The recruiting pipelines that Jim Harbaugh is building stretch far and wide across the nation. The recruitment of Lauderhill (Fla.) safety Vladimir Emilien shows just how far-reaching the Stanford program is becoming.

The hard hitting safety from the Sunshine State was sidelined for his senior season due to a torn ACL but that has done little to slow down his recruitment. It also helps that he is nearly at full-health after a lengthy rehab.

"I'm running full speed and training as hard as I ever have. I should be getting cleared next week," said Emilien. "I decided to put my cleats up (for the high school season); there is no point in risking another injury in high school with college nearing."

He does not think that the injury is going to have any lingering affect that would hurt him from contributing immediately in college.

"I'm hoping to play right away as a freshman. I'm really looking forward to it and with my type of athleticism, I can contribute."

A four-star prospect, Emilien recently narrowed list down to four schools: Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Stanford. The Big Ten is definitely very attractive to him and it is a conference he thinks he can excel in.

"I have the speed being from South Florida and I believe that I have the size to play in the Big Ten."

All the way over on the West Coast, Stanford seems like an odd team to be thrown in with the class of the Big Ten but Emilien is still very undecided about his future. "I'm still very open, and can't really put anybody on top of anybody else."

So why Stanford?

"It's a great place with a very prestigious education. At the end of the day I'll get a good degree and a good job after football."

Emilien is also excited about a possibility of a fresh start on the West coast. "It's in Cali, so I know I'll have fun everyday."

While he is very committed to the academic side of Stanford, Vladimir knows that Stanford is a program on the rise.

"I just like the program, period. In the next couple of years they are going to have one of the best programs in the nation."

Coach Harbaugh and the staff have been trying to make the 2009 recruiting class a tight-knit group even before they arrive on campus. A Stanford commit also hailing for the South has been helping out in the recruiting process.

"Jamal (Patterson) has been trying to get me out there. Being from South he's trying to get me to go with him because we have a lot in common."

Vladimir will be taking his official visit to Stanford on November 14th and will be at the game when Stanford takes on Southern Cal.

His visit to Palo Alto will be his final visit as a visit to Ohio State seems unlikely at this point.

"I probably won't take an official to Ohio State. I'd have to leave early because I plan on announcing my commitment on my birthday."

Four years of education seems like a pretty good birthday present for Emilien and he’ll be deciding November 23rd.

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