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Stanford has a big-time secret weapon in recruiting

As if they needed it, Stanford is getting some major help in reeling in recruits. After all, we're talking about the defending Pac-12 champions that have finished their last three seasons in BCS games. On top of that, we're talking about a school that just so happens to be an elite academic institution located in one of the best places to live in the entire world. What help could they possibly need?

As they say, it pays to have friends in high places and Stanford's friends run all the way to the White House. Helping Stanford's recruiting efforts is none other than former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 

“She could live in so many places and do so many other things, but she likes to surround herself with the brightest and the best, and she found that here at Stanford,” head coach David Shaw told the Stanford Daily. “She relates that really well to recruits and their families.”

Rice describes her efforts to influence former Cardinal football players exactly you'd expect someone who spent a decade in Washington would sound.

“I never say that Stanford is the only option, but Stanford is about excellence, and you should want to go to a place where excellence is appreciated,” Rice said. “Here, you won’t be odd or unusual for caring about both academics and athletics.”

Rice has long-standing ties to both Stanford and football. She participated in faculty brunches with football recruits as a Stanford faculty member in the 1980s, where she eventually became the university provost from 1993-99 before launching her political career. Rice, who once stated a desire to become NFL commissioner after time in our nation's capital was complete, is back on the Farm as a professor at Stanford's graduate business school and as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

“She wants them to feel like they can talk to her, because that’s the feeling here at Stanford,” Shaw said. “Stanford professors want to know what you want to do so that they can help you accomplish your goals.”

Your move, Pac-12.