Most recruits who attended Stanford's camps this past week came to The Farm looking to learn and make a name for themselves as a recruit. That was the case for 2018 cornerback Jeremy Lucien of Choate Rosemary Hall High School in Connecticut.
Lucien had several strong reps in one-on-one opportunities at Stanford and the presence of a young man from a school in Connecticut seemed noteworthy enough to find out more. Stanford was the fifth camp of the spring and summer for Lucien after trips to Northwestern, Virginia, Duke and Tennessee.
"I went to the camp last year at Stanford and we stayed in contact with defensive assistant Toure Carter," Lucien said. "At the camp on Tuesday I did pretty well and we went on a tour of the facilities and campus. We talked with the coaches after, too."
Each stop he picked up lessons to improve his football "craft" and he appears to have the academic accomplishments to pursue top schools. His only offer is from Davidson College, but he's had several conversations with Power 5 coaches after camps about playing opportunities.
His commitment to academic exploration also had an impact on his time spent on football.
In the spring of his sophomore year, when most young athletes are launching their recruiting profile, Lucien was accepted to a three-month immersion program in Spain. At first he didn't have any interest in applying, but his parents and football coach each persisted in telling he should do it.
The program was in La Coruña in the Galicia region of Spain. He took five courses in a school that required he only speak Spanish and he lived with a host family who did not know how to speak English.
"It was intimidating at first but I eventually got used to it," he said. "The day I was leaving I was really nervous. I was kind of scared. But when I got there the host family was really nice right off the bat. They were really welcoming. They took me to the mall, some parks and site seeing."
After a couple weeks he felt comfortable as a member of the host family and tried to keep up with his football training as best he could. But he admitted taking three months away set him back a bit heading into the summer before his junior year.
But he certainly doesn't regret the decision: "To this day I miss it a lot. I've had a few dreams of magically ending up back in Spain. If I could I would definitely go back to visit."
Once back at Choate in Connecticut he focused on pursuing his passion for building robotics and engineering.
"My mom tells the story all the time that when I was little I used to get really interested in puzzles," he said. "I would put them together all the time and then I'd get bored and start putting them together backward.
His first robotics course was in the eighth grade. Using Legos he and a partner built a robotic monkey after watching some videos online. While some people went a simpler route, Lucien and his partner designed the monkey to hang on a rope and climb.
This past winter he took an introductory course to robotics.
"It was very challenging and took us a long time to pull off, but we eventually got it," he said. "That satisfaction of working on that project and being hit with so much adversity before completing it ... that's one of the main reasons I like engineering and building in general."
And it's a mentality that could make playing college football a reality.