One of the more versatile players in California has joined Stanford's 2013 recruiting class. Jumbo athlete Kevin Palma, who's capable of playing either inside or outside linebacker on defense, as well as an h-back or hybrid tight end role on offense, committed to Cardinal coach David Shaw last Wednesday.
Palma went public with his choice on Sunday night.
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"It was just the best decision for me and my family," Palma told Cardinal Sports Report. "I live about three hours away from Stanford so it was real close to home. You can't beat the academics and they have a great football program."
Stanford offered Palma a scholarship a few weeks ago. It didn't take long for him to accept.
"Right after I got the offer I waited about a week just to think about it and make sure it was the right decision for me and my family," Palma said. "And then actually I committed last Wednesday, but I kept it a little bit silent so I could talk to other coaches and let them know before they read it in the paper or anything like that."
Informing the other schools of his decision wasn't easy.
"It kind of (stunk), but I mean a lot of the coaches that I've gotten to know, they understand that academics are important to me and being close to home, they really understood," Palma said. "They just look forward to keeping in contact, even if I do go to Stanford I'll play Colorado or Oregon State in a game a couple years from now. Knowing that I'll still have that other coaching staff, coaches that I know that I'm playing against (is nice)."
Palma, who appeared squarely on Stanford's recruiting radar after a standout performance at Friday Night Lights camp in Palo Alto, has long admired the Cardinal program.
"They've always pretty much been up there as far as offers," Palma said. "They've been a top program for a while, this past year, the year before they've been a top program, and obviously me wanting to play in the Pac-12, they're one of the elites in the Pac-12. I was happy to get an offer from them and I was obviously overjoyed the night I accepted and committed to Stanford."
Palma said that there was plenty of excitement on both sides when he called Stanford coach David Shaw to commit.
"Obviously they were happy to have me on board," Palma said. "I was happy to be on board. It was nice to know that they were willing to accept my commitment and willing to welcome me into the Stanford football program family."
Palma's actual family was thrilled about his decision as well.
"Both of my parents, they were rooting for Stanford, so obviously they were extremely excited when I chose Stanford," Palma said. "It was basically just a complete family decision. Everybody pretty much just chose Stanford, a no-brainer."
Palma is looking forward to having a bit more time to himself now that he is a committed recruit
"It actually makes life a lot easier, I can tell you that much," Palma said. "I probably won't have as many coaches calling, just more time to concentrate on my season and school and won't have to worry about the whole recruiting process."
Palma should also have more time to devote to putting the finishing touches on his Stanford application.
"I'm actually almost finished," Palma said. "I haven't sent it in yet. I should probably send it in here within the next week or two. Hopefully I get good news back on that."
Palma, who left open the possibility of taking official visits to other schools, isn't entirely sure when he'll take his official to The Farm, though he thinks the trip will occur after the season.
"At this point I don't have anything set in stone," Palma said. "Potentially an official more toward winter, after the season. At this point I'm not really too sure."