Former Saraland Star Reflects on First Year at Stanford

High School Football

One year ago, Jack West put pen to paper and became the newest member of the Stanford Cardinal football team. Now he returns home to train with a year of college football under his belt.

“It’s your dream to play college football, that’s something I’ve always worked hard for. So to be able to get on the field at Stanford Stadium and play was a great experience,” said West.

Playing at Saraland meant West didn’t have to change his color scheme too much when he went to Stanford. But not even playing in 6A Region 1 could get him totally ready for what Power Five college football was like.

“Games like Notre Dame, Oregon and places like that, being in loud environments and experiencing that as a player was extremely fun,” said West. “I remember Oregon stadium was louder than any I’d been to. I’ve been to Alabama and Auburn and Autzen Stadium was louder in my opinion.”

West’s first year at Stanford allowed him to visit states he’d never been to before and take his first snaps as a college quarterback. And he got to do all that with a few Mobilians by his side.

“Andres (Fox) made an impact on the field late in the season,” said West. “It was cool to be in a similar situation together, being from the place and getting to take classes together.”

The Pac-12 has recently been recruiting heavily here in the Mobile area.

Former Mobile Christian star Troy Young plays at Arizona. Former St. Paul’s lineman Ryan Johnson plays alongside Fox and West at Stanford. And West’s former Spartan teammate Velus Jones is at USC.

“Coming from 6A Region 1, with all the big classifications and regions down here, there are players down here. I think now that that’s getting recognition it will get more and more,” said West. “It’s just cool to see that because those are guys you grew up playing in the parks with and in high school so it’s really cool.”

From the parks and high schools of the Mobile area to the biggest stages in college football, the next generation of Gulf Coast high school stars are ready for their turn in the spotlight.

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