Linebacker James Vaughters picked the Stanford Cardinal over Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama and Ohio State. Ga Tech and the Buckeyes came in second according to Vaughters.
Vaughters, the 5th ranked inside linebacker, has high expectations for the Cardinal program.
"I honestly believe we can do something at Stanford that has never been done and that is win a championship," Vaughters told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Vaughters said academics played a big role in his decision, choosing Stanford for the "academic value" and saying it is a "global degree and a place where I can win national championships"
Vaughters is considering majoring in architectural engineering. He told the AJC his decision was made awhile ago and he called coach Harbaugh on Wednesday night
"He was really excited," Vaughters told the AJC. "He put me on hold and called all the other coaches into his office and they started yelling and screaming and everything. They were really happy about it."
Along with commit Anthony Sarao, the 7th-ranked outside linebacker, Vaughters gives Stanford a tremendous class at linebacker for Vic Fangio.
Vaughters was sure the distance from home would not be an issue: "No matter where I go to college I'm going to be away from home and get homesick I'm sure," he said. "This is just a little farther away. I really didn't see it as an obstacle."
Here are Vaughters' comments on the five finalists.
"I will start with the University of Georgia. One of the 1st things I love about Georgia was the coaching staff, Coach Richt, Coach Garner, and the new additions to the staff with Coach Grantham, Coach Belin, and the rest of the staff. Coach Richt has really impressed me with his genuineness and his focus on building a program with great players, who also have character. The Dream Team concept is very attractive to me, being from Georgia, as well as the opportunity to keep playing with my teammate, Chris Sanders.
"Georgia Tech is a special place to me because of its great location. It is rare that you find a great school that is located in a big city like Atlanta, with a great football program and tradition. Georgia Tech's location and proximity to home make it very attractive and I think Paul Johnson is doing a great job, bringing in coaches that can help me get the most out of my ability and prepare me, possibly for the NFL. The switch to the 3-4 defense and the addition of Coach Al Groh and Joe Speed really interests me.
"The University of Alabama is the defending National Champions. Coach Saban is focused on building a program with players that win championships and graduate. Alabama will get even better than last year, as Coach Saban continues to build the program in, arguably, the top football Conference in the Country. Coach Kirby Smart gave me a great vision of where I would fit in to their defense, and the facilities are great and plus, I like that it is a reachable drive for my friends and family to come and see me play.
"Stanford University is a long distance from home but they have a beautiful campus, perfect climate, and I feel that they have great opportunities that I can utilize. They are a top academic school that is compared to the Ivy League, but compete in Division I football and a top conference in the Pac-10. They are also making great strides to become a championship caliber football team. Coach Vic Fangio, the new defensive coordinator, runs the 3-4 defense and I feel like he has the experience in the NFL that I will be able to feed off, to hopefully prepare myself for the NFL. They have done well in recruiting recently and improve more and more every year. I believe that they have potential to be great in many aspects."
"A school that I have been a fan of since I was young and always could see myself going to is Ohio State. They seem to be one of the top teams in the NCAA that has the most stable coach in Coach Jim Tressel, and I really admire what Coach Tressel stands for. They have always produced NFL-quality linebackers, and I have a lot of family in Ohio, so I will always feel at home even though it is a long drive from Atlanta. They also are consistently mentioned in BCS Championships and rule the Big Ten."
CardinalReport will have much more on this huge commit for the Stanford program