As the time neared for Columbus (Ohio) DeSales defensive end Davon Custis to make his decision most neutral observers believed Stanford was the school to beat, solidly ahead of the others on his list.
So when Custis surprised almost everyone and picked Northwestern he gave the Big Ten school a big boost to their recruiting efforts in the Class of 2010.
Northwestern was a surprise team this fall, rattling off nine wins, including five in conference play, before barely falling to Missouri in the Alamo Bowl.
Towards the end he had been considering Northwestern, Stanford and Boston College. When BC fired head coach Jeff Jagodzinski for interviewing with the New York Jets that effectively eliminated the Eagles from consideration. So why did he choose Northwestern?
"I actually committed to Northwestern," Custis confirmed. "In the end I just felt most comfortable with their recruiters and players compared to the other schools. It was nothing against the others, I just liked Northwestern the most and could see myself being comfortable there."
Custis said the Wildcats have not told him whether he should expect to compete for time as a freshman or be prepared to redshirt in order to develop.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound three-star prospect has told coaches from all three schools of his decision.
"I'm definitely solid and won't be changing my mind," he said. "The Northwestern coaches were really excited. They really want to get me up there and talk to me more.
"The Stanford coaches were really disappointed. They were shocked, really. The BC coaches just told me they respected my decision."
Custis is rated the No. 24 strongside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com.