Sean Barton's announcement came on his own terms. He made sure of it. There were no leaks from the four-star safety or his family. And as for the threat of college coaches letting his choice slip out early? Well, he took care of that by simply not telling them. Hey, in the Internet age, you can't be too careful.
On Sunday, Stanford landed the top uncommitted recruit in the state of Utah, but the Cardinal staff wasn't made aware of its recruiting victory until after Barton chose a hat in front of family and friends at a small ceremony inside his family home in Woods Cross, Utah.
For a high school senior, Barton runs a tight ship.
"I called Stanford right after the announcement … right after," said Barton, who chose Stanford over other finalists Utah and Washington. "They were coming off the field from practice. I talked to coach (Lance) Anderson, (head) Coach (David) Shaw and Coach (David) Kotulski. They were excited. I was excited, too. It was a good experience.
"Stanford seemed like the only place for me."
And so the 50 people gathered in his living room knew Barton was headed to Stanford before anybody told Stanford. It's unlikely that people in Cardinal Country care much about the delay, though. What matters to them is that that the 6-foot-2, 220-pound athlete will wear an S on his helmet in 2013. He'll just need to undergo a position change first.
He expects the shift to linebacker to bring a certain learning a curve, but it might not be as sharp as some expect. The new concepts he'll learn aren't totally foreign, after all.
"I'm happy to play whatever as long as I can get on the field," Barton said. "I played linebacker all through growing up until last year, I switched to safety."
Barton says he made his decision sometime in the last two weeks, but waited to announce his choice of Stanford as a precautionary measure. This isn't something he expects to do twice. According to him, the self-imposed waiting period was "just to make sure."
In the ten minutes following his announcement, Barton estimates he received 50 or so text messages .
"It was pretty crazy," he said. "My Twitter blew up, too."
Barton declined to name a runner-up in his recruitment, saying only that the Utes and Huskies remained in the hunt until he made his final decision. He was the recipient of more than 12 FBS offers, but trimmed his list to Stanford, Utah and Washington in early July.