Stan & Jay Rome: Like father, not necessarily like son

It’s generally assumed since Stan Rome was a two-sport letterman at Clemson that his son, Jay Rome, is most likely to end up there.

Jay Rome wears the same number 11 at Valdosta that his father Stan Rome (above) wore amost 40 years ago. (Special photo)

Jay Rome wears the same number 11 at Valdosta that his father Stan Rome (above) wore amost 40 years ago. (Special photo)

Not so, says the man that should know best, Stan Rome.

“Oh, absolutely not,” said Stan Rome, who was busy cooking hamburgers for his son and Valdosta High buddy Malcolm Mitchell while doing a telephone interview recently. “I don’t want him to go to Clemson just because I went to Clemson. I want him to go wherever he feels like he’s comfortable with the staff and where the fit works for him. The last thing I want is for him to go to Clemson and he gets there and then it’s not ideal for him. I never would forgive myself for something like that.”

Still, nobody would be surprised if Jay Rome ended up following in his dad’s footsteps. After all, the father and son are quite similar.

About 40 years ago, Stanford Rome was the toast of Valdosta. The two-sport star was wowing the Wildcats with his athletic antics in both football and basketball. At 6-foot-5, he dominated the competition on the hardwood. And he was hauling in multiple passes every game as a wide receiver when pass-oriented offenses were still a rarity in the state. As a sophomore in 1971, he caught 72 passes for 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns, a record that stood for years.

Jay Rome has yet to set any receiver records. But the 6-foot-6, 230-pound rising senior at Valdosta is the top-ranked tight end in Georgia and rated among the top few nationwide. And he, too, is a two-sport star in high school. In fact, he’s competing in basketball this summer with the Smyrna Stars AAU team.

But make no mistake about, it’s Jay Rome’s ability as a football player that is getting recruiters most excited. He has received upward of 30 scholarship offers. He has narrowed it down this summer to a final four of Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Georgia.

“And not necessarily in that order,” Stan Rome said of his oldest son. “At this point I have no idea where he’s going to go. What he’s thinking, your guess is as good as mine.”

What Jay Rome is thinking is that he is not going to be in a hurry to make a decision. At one point he thought he might choose a school before the end of summer. Now he figures he’ll at least take it into the fall and likely beyond that.

He accepted an invitation to play in the Under Armour All-Star Game in Florida in January and said he was considering announcing it then.

Valdosta's Jay Rome is considered the top tight end in Georgia and the South.

Valdosta's Jay Rome is considered the top tight end in Georgia and the South.

“I’m kind of just enjoying it right now,” Jay said of the recruiting process. “I’m just trying to get a feel for everywhere more than I did the first time. The first time I took visits, every school seemed like it was the right place to be. So I’m trying to get back to each place and go into every visit with a level head and try to leave the same way. Hopefully that way I can just get a feel for each school and try to evaluate the things that I really need to look at so I can make the best decision.”

Jay has an ideal sounding board in the form of his father. Stan Rome’s recruitment was something like Valdosta had never seen when coaches swooped down on the South Georgia town to see him in the 1973. Eventually Clemson would win the sweepstakes over the likes of UCLA, N.C. State, Georgia and many others.

“The intensity of recruiting is no different today but things were a whole lot different back at that time,” said Stan, who played for four years in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. “Now they have a lot of NCAA rules and do’s and don’ts that didn’t exist back in that day. And back then the schools in the South were just integrating African-American students. So it was a situation where no one in my family had ever graduated from college. . . .

“Jay has had the benefit of having two parents that have graduated from college. We know how important academics are and what’s important after football’s over. And Jay’s a much better student than I was. So it’s different, but it’s still recruiting. You still have to make up your mind.”

That, both Stan and Jay admit, is not going to be easy. Dad teases his son about his fickleness.

“Usually the way it’s been working with Jay, whatever the last place we visited is usually what shoots to the top of his list,” said Stan, who recently accompanied his son on trips to Alabama and Florida. “A year and a half ago we visited Clemson and he was ready to commit. Back this past football season, when he went up to Georgia for one of their games, I had to really hold him back from wanting to commit right then and there. He went to Florida and he was really big on them.”

Said Jay: “It’s not as bad now. Early in my recruitment that was the case. But now I’m looking at it differently. I’m trying to get back to each school a second time and maybe even a third time so I can really compare. I mean, it’s recruiting. Every school is going to make their school look like it’s the best school. So after I leave somewhere I’ve got to keep in mind that the next school is going to be the same way. They’re going to do and say everything I want to hear or see. So I’ve just got to try to look past that and pick the place that’s best for me.”

And that, Stan Rome says, will have nothing to do with where he went to school.

“We’ll talk and pray about it, but ultimately it’s going to be his decision,” Dad said. “We’re looking at academics and the academic support that each place gives. We’re looking at the relationships he has with the people that are recruiting him, his position coach and the head coach. So all that’s going to play into it. Hopefully we’ll have some input, my wife and I. But it’s more than just about football.”

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75 comments Add your comment

goldwreck

July 12th, 2010
6:29 am

He’s a good one.It will be interesting to see how his recruitment plays out.

Paddy

July 12th, 2010
6:41 am

Good player, good family, sounds like just the type of player we need at UGA right about now!

TommyP

July 12th, 2010
6:46 am

I love how his dad is both helping him out with the process and yet not pushing him anywhere. I wish all of these kids had that kind of support at home.

Great article, Chip.

Frank Lane

July 12th, 2010
6:47 am

Nice article.

theTruth

July 12th, 2010
7:00 am

Chip, since him and Mitchell are good buddies, I wonder if Mitchell’s decision will have any affect on Rome’s decision?

Bulldog59

July 12th, 2010
7:21 am

theTruth, good question. I’m sure every school Rome and Mitchell have in common are exploring that angle in their recruitment.

tenn.DAWG

July 12th, 2010
7:25 am

Good luck no matter where you land,but I sure would like to see you stay instate,preferably UGA.

#2 Bama Fan

July 12th, 2010
7:25 am

I hope he plays for the dawgs or tigers at Clemson!! RTR

SOS Dawg

July 12th, 2010
7:27 am

If I were Mr. Rome I sure wouldnt want my kid going to UGA right now.

Dawg Days

July 12th, 2010
7:27 am

Charles, White, Figgins and Lynch may be too much for Rome to pick UGA, but I hope not. Bobo needs to light up the TE’s next season, and maybe that will sway Jay to come our way. A poet and don’t know it…

Huntsville Dog

July 12th, 2010
7:52 am

I don’t think the depth chart should be too big of a deal. They will all be juniors and seniors his freshman year. Say he redshirts or plays sparingly he will get a lot more time the next few years. You go anywhere good these days and you might not play right off.

dagrapevine

July 12th, 2010
8:10 am

dont be surprised if jay winds up at tennesee.his best friend,dontavious sapp is there.i too would like to see jay a uga dog.

H Dog

July 12th, 2010
8:21 am

I’m not impressed. He’s fickle, and seems to not know what he wants, and not even know himself. 3 trips arn’t going to change that. Probably just waiting to see where the other top tight ends commit so he can pick a different weaker school and be the starter. He’ll get the leftovers. These fickle guys are usually afraid of competition–that’s why they don’t commit early, they don’t think they’re good enough to win against good competition, so they wait out their competition and go to other weaker schools. Id’ say go get a guy that’s passionate about Georgia and ferless about competition.

Lance

July 12th, 2010
8:27 am

UGA puts TE in the NFL. Enough said!

Bruce

July 12th, 2010
8:30 am

Let’s see here, Daddy played 2 sports, son played 2 sports, Daddy caught passes, son catching passes, Daddy went to Valdosta, son went to Valdosta. Daddy wore #11, son wore #11. Daddy went to Clemson, son went to_______? See what’s going on? The kid just does what Daddy does intead of find his own path in life. Newsflash, Jay ain’t Stan. Hello. He needs to listen to his own voice.

star tech

July 12th, 2010
8:33 am

I believe he will choose Clemson as do many others.
It’s the safe pick compared to a problematic school
that is also on his list. (jmho)

Things that make you go hmmm....

July 12th, 2010
8:34 am

It’s my understanding that Rome and Bill O’Leary’s son are UGA’s top TE targets. If you don’t remember O’Leary, he played for UGA in the 80s and married Jack Nicklaus’s daughter who played volleyball at UGA. They live in Florida.

Monticello Dawg

July 12th, 2010
8:34 am

Stan Rome was one of the greatest multi-sport athletes in state history, along with Jeff Francouer, Charlie Ward, Charlie Dudish, and Anthony Flanagan. Recall a great basketball matchup between Crisp County and Valdosta, where 7′ Tree Rollins was battling Stan and his cousin Roger Rome in the paint.

JY

July 12th, 2010
8:44 am

If he is anything like his dad he could be a wide receiver,,, a huge wide receiver. He is probably one of the best basketball players in the state too. His dad competed against some really good basketball players like Tree Rollins his teammate at Clemson. Really great competition back when Stan was in H.S. Stan played back up QB and killed people with his size and strength. So Jay probably does not have to play just TE. If he is anything like his dad and uncle…”fear of competition” is not one of his traits. So you can forget him being afraid of competition. Stan was 13 as a starting Freshman on the VHS team.

SowegaDawg

July 12th, 2010
8:55 am

Monticello Dawg——I was at Crisp Co. High School then and watched some of those great games. Crisp also had a guy named Billy Dixon who won the state 100 and 220 yard dashes about that time. Dixon was 6′3″ and could jump out of the gym–he actually jumped center most of the time instead of Tree, plus he was dang good at football too. Dixon ended up at Troy playing tight end, I believe. You don’t know any of those Tuggle boys do you?

destin dawg

July 12th, 2010
8:58 am

Get Nick O’leary from Palm Beach Gardens and Jay Rome they both can play WR too !!!!

RxDawg

July 12th, 2010
8:58 am

Paddy “Good player, good family, sounds like just the type of player we need at UGA right about now!”

Couldn’t of said it any better. Good luck to the Rome kid.

Lee

July 12th, 2010
9:02 am

Alabama, Clemson, and Florida don’t have many TE’s starting in the NFL. Georgia has a bunch. If the kid wants to really become a starter in the NFL, he needs to pick a school that’s shown they can do that. I think if I remember Stan went to KC in the pros, caught about 20 passes over 4 years, didn’t really become a starter. Where you go to college can get you ready to start in the Pros. Georgia’s campus is closer for his family. Georgia’s QB’s will be a lot better than Clemson, Alabama’s, or Florida. Clemson, Florida, or Alabama doesn’t put as many players into the Pros as Richt.

Long Gator

July 12th, 2010
9:16 am

Stan, please keep him away from Athens unless you have some
strong ties with AA.

He would be happier at UF than anywhere. Gators rule !!!!

TampaGator

July 12th, 2010
9:18 am

Lee…
I believe Hernandez (Florida) was just taken by New England in this year’s NFL draft….and the kid might be interested in winning championships as well, which Florida and Bama know a lot about and Georgia knows little. And…. you say your QB is going to be better than Brantley and then Driskell….well, I kind of doubt that one too. But, with all that said, Rome will be a Clemson Tiger (he IS too much like his dad…and will do what his dad says…and his dad will say…CLEMSON!!!).

Jim in Ga

July 12th, 2010
9:22 am

Someone is going to get a star when this guy signs. We’d love you at UGA but good luck anywhere you go except when you play the Dawgs.

TampaGator

July 12th, 2010
9:28 am

My guess…Nick O’Leary plays for the Ohio State Buckeyes…Jack’s university of choice.

Win P

July 12th, 2010
9:40 am

In view of recent events at UGA and elsewhere, I would want to know if he has a valid drivers license, does he have a tendency or desire to visit bars late at night for entertainment or excitment,to drink and then drive.
Since both parents have college degrees, he may be serious about a college degree as well as big bucks from the NFL..hope so

Worm

July 12th, 2010
9:41 am

Good luck young man wherever you choose..Glad to see Stan Rome turned into the person he is..He was a good one!..Although I would have loved to have seen him in Athens..

naganole

July 12th, 2010
9:50 am

@tampagator Even UF has a better shot than tOSU. That’s on top of already having AC Leonard. I think he stays instate…

Orangebeachdawg

July 12th, 2010
10:00 am

played against Stan in HS…Valdosta JV (we were freshman) came to Adel, Cook County (different classification, but JV teams played), Stan played WR and QB that day and if Jay is as good as his Dad, he will be a star for UGA…an impact player like Charles…Jay please come to UGA!

THEX

July 12th, 2010
10:06 am

H Dog == you are an idiot. That is all.

Jay Rome will be a Dawg, put it in the bank. Clemson is hardly even in the running anymore.

JAXDAWG

July 12th, 2010
10:20 am

Do half of you even pay attention to recruiting before you come on here and post your absurd comments?

TampaGator: Jay Rome is a TE prospect. Not and H-back prospect like Hernandez. While scouts are raving about Rome’s pass catching ability they are not writing him off as a blocker just yet. Hernandez was strictly a pass catcher with no formal training as a TE. He will be used in that same capacity in the NFL (aka third downs and passing situations, hence why they drafted a more complete TE a few rounds prior).
dagrapevine: Did you even read the article above before you posted? UT not even a finalist. Guys, brush up before you put up. LINE LIMIT.

JAXDAWG

July 12th, 2010
10:21 am

For clarification a TE is not an H-back.

Book it, Done.

July 12th, 2010
10:28 am

Jay Rome to Clemson. Sorry, Dawgs. But, I’m sure many on here will say that CMR really didn’t want him or that he really didn’t fit into UGA’s system anyway. (I see some posters already starting to say it.)

Flo-Ri-Duh!

July 12th, 2010
10:33 am

Bruce- maybe he’s playing football and basketball because he is good at it and he likes it. You wouldn’t expect him, at 6′6″ to play soccer would you? Most son’s don’t follow their father to the same school – probaby 25 % do.

clemchem

July 12th, 2010
10:34 am

Any Dawgs arrested today?

FWIW, Rome is a Tiger. He’s just lathering you SEC boys up in a frenzy.

Dawg Fan

July 12th, 2010
10:35 am

Sounds like a great young man.

I hope to see him wearing the red & black between the hedges.

Jay please come join CMR & the Dream Team. After UGA is considered TE-U.

Dawg Fan

July 12th, 2010
10:37 am

Whoops. rather…

After all UGA is considered TE-U.

Ok UGA haters. Your turn… go ahead and post your mindless hate-filled gibberish.

THEX

July 12th, 2010
10:58 am

Lol at everyone saying he’s a Clemson lock. You guys should go try and find some information before you spew garbage like that.

Alan Keller

July 12th, 2010
11:11 am

I hope he winds up at UGA, but, honestly, looking at it objectively, Alabama right now offers the best combo football and academic program in the nation and plays a lot of tight ends. As a result, given his stated priorities, I wouldn’t be surprised if he chooses them in February. Anywhere but those chompin’ Gators!!

clemchem

July 12th, 2010
11:13 am

Yeah, just like all the Dawg Insiders guaranteed both Beasley’s were UGA bound last year.

Those two sure do look nice in their orange and purple.

Damon the Dirty Dawg

July 12th, 2010
11:26 am

Come to thUGA, we now have a Thursday night happy hour with the AD. All student athletes can drink with the (A)lcoholic (D)awgtard.

1eyedJack

July 12th, 2010
11:55 am

SowegaDawg
I was at Crisp Co. High 74-77. What years were you there? I remember some games when Tree Rollins would just stand under the basket and they would lob it into him. He was almost unstoppable.

star tech

July 12th, 2010
11:55 am

and wearing red panties is optional – per Evans

Palm City Dawg

July 12th, 2010
12:24 pm

I played high school ball against Stan as a freshman and his brother Roger as a senior. Fortunately, I was a wingback and did not have to defend agaist them. Their first score was a bomb to Stan with very tight double coverage and he simply went up, snatched the ball, both of our defenders fell to the turf and he walked into the end zone. I am a UGA grad and hope this incredible receiver/athlete choses UGA. It is in the blood baby…UGA will be back strong over the coming so come on Jay, UGA will love you!

TheTaxJacket

July 12th, 2010
12:40 pm

UGA better pray CPJ doesn’t offer this kid as an offensive lineman! Roll Jackets!!!

(((( 45-42 ))))

Slick

July 12th, 2010
12:48 pm

Had the pleasure of seeing Stan play many years ago in high school. Singlehandely beat my team with a punt return and and a td reception late. He also used and abused Tree on the hardwood….in my opinion, the best high school athlete I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot!!!
He was simply the best…

College Football Fact Checker

July 12th, 2010
1:01 pm

Any GOOD High School Kid now being recruiting by UGA needs to be rethink their official visit list. As a UGA fan …as a good father, and any possible chance to go to the NFL…..I would persuade my son to look elsewhere than UGA AS OF TODAY…it may change in the future..but with the problems in Athens today….no way…

REALITY CHECK

July 12th, 2010
1:08 pm

UGA is starting a sophomore, Orson Charles, who was a Freshman All-SEC…and likely an All SEC very soon. The co-starter is a rising junior, Aron White, who is a legit star receiving TE himself. Behind them is junior Bruce Figgins, who would start most places, and a youngster, Arthur Lynch, who was yet another high school All American TE with great promise. UGA has a logjam at TE…so if Jay Rome comes to Georgia, he better be preparted to get in line. He would definitely redshirt at UGA and would still need to wait his turn behind the aforementioned.