by Andrew Stark
On Sept. 1, 2011, during Peter Kalambayi’s junior season with the Butler football team, the star linebacker suddenly had 30 friend requests on his Facebook page. It was no coincidence that it was the first day college coaches could begin contacting prospective recruits through social media, and 30 coaches didn’t waste any time connecting with Kalambayi.
Those kinds of things happen when you’re the No. 3-rated linebacker and No. 33 overall recruit in your class.
Last week, however, Kalambayi announced that he liked one college better than any other and committed to Stanford University.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Kalambayi has recorded 229 tackles during the last two seasons and is agile enough to run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. Because of that, Kalambayi has been shooting up recruiting boards since helping the Bulldogs win the 2010 Class 4AA state championship as a sophomore. Clemson was the first to offer a scholarship, but eventually Kalambayi ended up with 30.
He had it narrowed down to four schools: Duke, Virginia, Stanford and Oregon. Last week, after traveling with his mother and grandmother to a camp on Stanford’s Palo Alto, Calif., campus, Kalambayi made his intentions known. On the final day of the visit, Cardinal coach David Shaw asked Kalambayi when he’d be ready to make a decision.
“I told him right then that I wanted to be there now,” Kalambayi said. “I have always liked Stanford. The opportunities that you get going to a school like Stanford can’t compare unless you’re talking about Ivy League schools, but they don’t have the football Stanford does.
“When you have a degree from a school like Stanford, it holds a lot of weight.”
The Cardinal first contacted him after his freshman season and told him to keep his grades up and they would offer a scholarship when he was a junior. Both parties held up their end of the bargain.
Stanford has a rigorous application process, and Kalambayi, who maintains a 4.4 GPA, still has to take a few tests and meet some entrance requirements. But so far, everything’s in line, and he’s confident he’ll be enrolled in the fall of 2013.
Now that the recruiting process is over, Kalambayi, who said he’s been contacted almost every day since his sophomore season, can look back on it with fond memories.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “I have had a lot of opportunities to go a lot of places and see some great schools. A lot of guys complain about all of the reporters and schools calling, but I kind of like it, and I would rather be in this position than not to be.”
This month Kalambayi is traveling to Beaverton, Ore., for the nationally televised Nike camp called “The Opening,” which features the country’s top prospects. But Kalambayi’s excited to get his college career started, especially at Stanford.
“Their program has been getting a lot better,” he said. “They had a top-five (national recruiting) class last season and have another good one this year. They have a great coaching staff and great facilities. I’m very happy to be going to such a great school, and they’re going to be good for a while.”