Stanford’s visit to Utah last October ultimately cost the Cardinal a spot in the BCS national championship. As it turns out, the visit wasn’t a total bust.
On the eve of that loss to Utah, Stanford coach David Shaw had a chance to watch Bingham tight end Dalton Schultz in person in a blowout victory over Jordan, and four months later that visit paid off.
Schultz, the No. 1-rated tight end in the country, officially signed his national letter of intent to play football at Stanford beginning this fall.
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Bingham senior verbally committed to Stanford three weeks ago, and Wednesday made his decision official.
“In my mind there’s no better place to go,” said Schultz, who said he never once waffled in his decision.
Schultz had a slew of offers from colleges that included Arizona State, BYU, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Utah.
Three things ultimately swayed Schultz to Stanford: Academics, coach Shaw and Stanford’s reputation with developing tight ends for the NFL.
“The energy (coach Shaw) has when he walks into a room is unmatchable. He walks in and you stand up a little straighter,” said Schultz. “He’s just a really cool guy. He’s offensive-minded, which will be interesting. I’ve never had an offensive-minded head coach.”
Schultz helped lead Bingham to a 14-0 record and a 5A state championship this year with 499 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Bingham coach Dave Peck called Schultz the most devastating blocker he’s ever coached, which should help him thrive in Stanford’s power rushing offense.
Over the past four seasons, Konrad Reuland, Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo all played tight end at Stanford, and all four were on NFL rosters this past season.
“That’s what originally got me interested,” said Schultz.
Schultz reports to Stanford on June 21, and said he hopes to compete for playing time his freshman year. He acknowledges, however, that redshirting is a possibility.
Schultz was one of nine Bingham football players and five girls soccer players who signed their letters of intent during an assembly at Bingham on Wednesday morning.
Other football players who signed were Riley Culley (Dixie State), Nick Heninger (Mesa Community College), Sky Manu (Dixie State), Landen Measom (Southern Utah), Scott Nichols (Weber State), Noa Taeatafa (Southern Utah), Spencer Tauteoli (Dixie State) and Mahonrai Toki (Mesa Community College).
Girls soccer players who signed were Stacia Carroll (Central Arkansas), Cortney Millgate (Dixie State), Marley Olsen (Idaho State), Caitlyn Stainbrook (BYU Hawaii) and Elizabeth Weber (UVU).
James Edward is Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer.