- About Us
Eklund chooses Stanford
"It didnt take Decatur senior Ryan Eklund long to ponder Stanford coach Tyrone Willinghams offer of a full-ride scholarship to play football for the Cardinal.Willingham met Eklund and his parents, Bill and Suzie, during Ryans official visit to the Palo Alto campus last weekend. Willingham wanted to emphasize that as a quarterback at Stanford, Ryan would be a leader both on and off the field.He wanted to make sure I was on the same page as him. He said youve got to keep up the academics, Ryan Eklund said. He doesnt promise anybody playing time he promises opportunity. Theres no for sure type of thing.With that, Willingham offered Eklund a scholarship.A handshake later, Eklund unofficially joined Stanford. He offered me right there and I said yeah, Id love to, Ryan Eklund said. Its totally a dream come true. You cant beat a Stanford education plus to play football for a Rose Bowl team. Its totally an awesome surprise right now. I just loved the place. I couldnt pass it up.The official first signing day for high school seniors is Feb. 2.The decision wasnt that tough to make for Eklund.I think Ryan, all the time in the back of his mind, wanted to go there, his father said. I think Stanford kind of stands out.Eklunds grade-point average approaches 4.0, which helped him surpass Stanfords rigorous academic standards. Hes leaning toward studying pre-med to become an orthopedic surgeon.Both Ryan and his father are somewhat stunned at the turn of events over the past three years. As a sophomore, Ryan turned out for the Decatur golf team with little success. He moved to football as a junior. Despite throwing for more than 1,700 yards, he was nowhere close to possessing the form of a Pac-10 quarterback. That summer he worked on throwing, attending passing camps, including the one at Stanford.As a senior, he showed marked improvement and threw for more than 2,100 yards. He earned Associated Press All-State first-team honors.I never could have imagine this. Were very proud of him, Bill Eklund said of the progress Ryan made. He couldnt have done it without the support in the community and his teachers and teammates.Stanford graduates is starting quarterback, Todd Husak, who led the Cardinal to an 8-4, season. The Cardinal finished ranked 24th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll after losing to Wisconsin, 17-9, in the Rose Bowl.Junior Joe Borchard was No. 2 on the Stanford depth chart at quarterback. He is expected to be offered a lucrative baseball contract this spring. Randy Fasani, another junior, was the other quarterback on Stanfords three-deep chart.Aside from the academic and athletic promise the school offers, the scholarship Eklund earned is an on obvious bonus for his parents. The cost of a Stanford education runs about $36,000 a year.Hell get five years there, so he could get his masters, Bill Eklund said. Its a great break for us and a great opportunity for Ryan."