Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 | 1:45 p.m.
When Bishop Gorman High defensive end Robert Stanley started getting recruited by college programs late last fall, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior already knew what to expect.
His older brother, Ronnie Stanley, went through the process last year before signing with Notre Dame.
Robert Stanley found his college home this weekend, committing to Fresno State after an official visit. He picked the Bulldogs over offers from hometown UNLV, Southern Utah and Weber State. He had visited UNLV two weeks ago but picked up the scholarship offer from Fresno State last Thursday.
“Seeing what my brother has gone through made me want to do the same thing,” said Robert Stanley, who was recruited to play outside linebacker. “He definitely made me want to take the next step.”
Ronnie Stanley was a four-star recruiting prospect and three-year starter at Gorman. Robert Stanley blossomed as a senior and became one of Gorman’s best defenders, recording 45 tackles and 5.5 sacks last fall to help the Gaels win their fourth consecutive state championship. He also had an interception, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles, and he caught a pair touchdowns on offense at tight end.
He was at his best in Gorman’s most competitive games, posting eight tackles against Our Lady of Good Counsel from Maryland and seven tackles against Bergen Catholic of New Jersey. Each team finished nationally ranked.
“In those big games, you didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “You had to have the mindset of not letting them into the end zone.”
The Stanley family was able to attend only one of Ronnie’s Notre Dame games this year — the national title game against Alabama. By committing to Fresno State, Robert Stanley knows he’ll receive more frequent visits.
“They are really excited for me,” he said. “They will be able to come down for every game because it is so close to home.”
Stanley is the eighth player from Gorman to give a verbal commitment, joining quarterback Anu Solomon (Arizona), defensive back Lorenzo Fertitta Jr. (Villanova), defensive back Justin Sweet (Colorado State), wide receiver Jamir Tillman (Navy), defensive lineman Jake Smirk (Dartmouth), wide receiver Ryan Smith (Duke) and 2014 defensive lineman Isaiah Nacua (BYU).
Verbal commitments are nonbinding until an athlete signs a letter-of-intent on national signing day, which is Wednesday.