Prior to receiving a Stanford offer, Georgia jumbo athlete Greg Taboada wasn't shy about his desire for an invitation to join the Cardinal program.
"Right now it's definitely the No. 1 school and I don't know, I'm just kind of hoping to hear some good news," Taboada told Cardinal Sports Report after his summer visit to the Farm.
"If I did get an offer from them, I mean, it'd be hard not to commit."
This past weekend, about a month after receiving an offer from Stanford, Taboada went ahead and did just that. Taboada called Stanford coach David Shaw yesterday to deliver a verbal commitment to the Cardinal.
"Maybe about a month ago I got the offer from Stanford and then two weeks later I figured out that my grades and everything were good enough to get accepted," Taboada said. "So once I knew that (I've) just kind of been thinking about it a lot and it just seemed like the best choice. The decision would help me more in the future - a degree from there and playing football and that whole experience and kind of getting out of the south and going to a new lifestyle was pretty appealing to me. That's kind of how I came down to it."
Taboada first called Stanford assistant coach Lance Anderson on Saturday night to deliver the news, then spoke to Shaw on Sunday to make his decision official.
"I've been staying in contact with Coach Anderson just about my classes and everything," Taboada said. "I let him know on Saturday and he told me that if I found the time on Sunday to talk to Coach Shaw and they seemed pretty excited. It was a good feeling to be able to let them know that I was committed and all that."
Although turning schools like Alabama down was difficult, Taboada said that the totality of the Stanford experience was too enticing to pass up.
"Every school has their pros and it was obviously really hard to turn down playing for Coach Saban knowing that they're going to have a great team for the next couple of years," Taboada said. "But just talking about it with my parents and family and stuff Stanford seems like in the four years playing there that I'm going to have a good situation coming out of there with that degree and the whole experience, being somewhere new in California and out west. I think that's something that I'm going to enjoy a lot. Just the combination of things, not just one differentiating factor. It was just a combination."
Taboada could be a BCS-level recruit on both sides of the ball, but he hopes to begin his Stanford career on offense.
"I hope to play tight end, and I think right now that's what they have me as," Taboada said. "I was talking to Coach Shaw that's what he was letting me know, just talking about their tight ends and their record as them going to the NFL and all that and he said that I was like the perfect fit. He also said that once I got there the defensive coaches were going to put some pressure as well. He could have been messing around, but if tight end doesn't work out or if something happens there the fact that I could possibly still go to defense is still there."
With his decision now made, Taboada plans to begin the Stanford application.
"I have not started it yet," Taboada said. "I'll probably start on it this week and try to knock that out."
Taboada isn't totally closing the door on taking other official visits (he indicated that he would still like to visit Alabama in particular if the option presents itself), but says his commitment is mostly solid.
"I'm pretty sure I'm set in stone right now," Taboada said. "The only thing I could see happening is if I go on my official (to Stanford) and if for some reason there's something that just throws me out, which I really doubt will happen because I've already been out there once in the summer. But if something like that happens and something happens with another school or something like that then that's the only thing I could possibly change, but I don't see that as happening in the future. I think right now I'm pretty set in stone and committed."
Taboada is glad that his recruitment is now behind him.
"It felt amazing to be able to tell Coach Shaw that I've come to a decision and all that. "At this point I think the feeling is going to be 10 times better when I sign in February, but it's still good to be able to say that I have a decision made. It's definitely a relief and I can go focus on playoffs and everything right now and finishing off this season."