Stanford picked up a huge commitment Thursday in more ways than one.
Joshua Garnett, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound four-star offensive guard from Puyallup, Wash., picked the Cardinal instead of Michigan during a ceremony at his high school.
Rivals.com rates Garnett, who shined at the Under Armour game over the holidays, as the second-best offensive guard and No. 33 prospect in the 2012 class, one spot out of five-star contention.
After numerous conversations with Stanford players David DeCastro, David Yankey, Charlie Hopkins and others, Garnett just felt it was the right place for him.
"Talking to those guys and really getting a feel for it, even some guys who will be in the NFL soon, they gave me a lot of good advice and I felt like as an academic institution Stanford and Michigan were both great but I felt at Stanford I'd be able to utilize my talents a little more," Garnett said.
Throughout his recruitment, Garnett stressed the importance of finding a good pre-med program and that certainly played a factor in his decision. He visited Stanford in the last few weeks and apparently loved what he saw there.
In the last week or so, the four-star had Notre Dame on his list as well but he finalized things and it was clear that Michigan and Stanford were the two leading contenders for his services.
"I know academically they're almost equal and even football-wise they're both great schools to go to but I felt in my heart Stanford was the right place for me to go," Garnett said.
Garnett, the second-best prospect in the state of Washington behind five-star offensive tackle Zach Banner, who earned that distinction at the Army Bowl, shined at numerous camps and combines over the last year including the Seattle NIKE Camp and The Opening in Beaverton, Ore.
The only offensive guard rated higher in the 2012 class is five-star Jordan Simmons out of Encino (Calif.) Crespi.
Garnett's commitment to Stanford could be the start of a huge recruiting haul for the Cardinal in the next week or so leading up to National Signing Day.