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Salem takes step closer to Stanford

January 25, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com

In a span of six minutes on Monday night, Newport Harbor High defensive lineman JB Salem was talking with two college football coaches about his future.

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel called to offer the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Salem a scholarship.

Five minutes later, Stanford Coach David Shaw gave Salem the news he has been anxiously waiting for since he committed to the Cardinal last March.

Salem said he has been academically accepted into Stanford, the school he plans to sign a national letter of intent with on Feb. 2, which is National Signing Day.

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"Huge sense of relief," Salem said about how he felt after hearing from Shaw, who took over as Stanford's coach after Jim Harbaugh decided to leave the Cardinal after they beat Virginia Tech, 40-12, in the Orange Bowl to coach the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL.

"It was [definitely] strenuous at the time, but after talking with my [family] I couldn't pass Stanford up."

Salem expects to meet with Shaw today at Newport Harbor, where Shaw will review Salem's letter of intent and have lunch with Salem and his family, said Salem's father, Jesse.

Salem, a three-time Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team selection, said Stanford was always his first choice, followed by UCLA.

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