It was shaping up to be a slow news weekend until Alex Clayton called me this evening to tell me he had verbally committed to Stanford.
I had run into him at the U.S. Open last month, and the 18-year-old from Ft. Lauderdale told me he was going to visit Harvard, where his older brother Chris is on the tennis team. (His younger sister Missy just won the ITF event in Tulsa, and Mary, the youngest, plays too). There didn't seem to be many other contenders, so I was fully expecting he'd tell me he was following Chris to Cambridge.
But he decided to take a visit to Palo Alto, and he told me he just loved the campus, the school, the area, everything about it. He also said that he felt the competition in the Pac-10 would be better for his tennis. Stanford's academic requirements are notoriously stringent, but Alex had no trouble in that regard, saying it was only days between application and acceptance for him.
He admitted that Chris was a bit annoyed with his choice, and it was a difficult decision because of that, but he (and his father) felt Stanford was the right fit for him. He also considered and visited the University of Florida.
Because Alex can't sign a National Letter of Intent until November 8, nothing is official until then, but Stanford coach John Whitlinger and his assistant Dave Hodge must be very excited about landing one of nation's prize recruits.