After months of exhausting research, several unofficial visits and some serious heart to heart talks with his family, Rolling Hills (Calif.) Peninsula tight end Erik Lorig was finally able to pull the trigger on his college choice last week and said he couldn't be happier or more at peace with his decision.
After considering Cal, Stanford, UCLA and USC, Lorig committed to the Cardinal and signed a scholarship agreement last week.
"I feel like Atlas right now," Lorig said. "I feel like this huge weight is off my shoulders and it's just a great feeling to have this all behind me. I heard what everyone had been saying about me, how I was delaying this because I wanted the attention or I was a flaky kid. That was never it and that was so frustrating hearing that. The truth is, I just really didn't know what to do and with this decision being the biggest of my life, I didn't just want flip a coin or make a decision without feeling 100% committed to that decision.
"My biggest problem in all this was I just started the evaluation process way too late. I took my trips to the four Pac 10 schools and Notre Dame and then just kind of waited for that special feeling. That was the thing, everyone I talked to told me that you'll know the right school to pick because when you're there, you'll get that special feeling in your stomach and that will tell you it's the right place for you. For me, that never happened, I never had any feeling or anything like that at any of the schools.
"About two days before Signing Day, I realized I was in trouble because I had no idea what school to pick and loved all four equally. The weight of the decision really started to weigh on me and I realized, this is the biggest decision of my life, one that will affect the rest of my life and I had no idea what to do. I didn't give it too much thought earlier because I was focusing everything on my football season and felt that was the most important thing to me at the time.
"So for the next three months., I tried to cram everything in when this was something I should have been doing starting in the summer of my junior year. I didn't want to just make it a football decision because there is so much more to me than football. I know that's hard for a lot of people to understand and it didn't make it easier when a lot of people were telling me, 'just commit somewhere and get it over with.'I wished it was that easy.
"I took a lot of trips to all four schools, drove up to USC and UCLA a lot and visited Cal and Stanford multiple times. Every time I was on campus somewhere, I would picture myself being a regular student there. If I was at Cal, I would pretend like I was a student there and pretend like I was part of the football team. At each of those four schools, I did that and I just became so absorbed in that and fit in so well at each school, it made things even harder for me. I felt like all four schools were all a perfect fit for me. It wasn't becoming easier it was becoming much harder.
"The hardest part was having to tell these great coaches that I needed more time. Here I was, this 17 year old kid and I'm making all these great schools wait on me. I told them that if there was another player out there for them that they wanted to recruit, to go ahead and do it because I didn't want to hold anyone back. It was just agonizing for me, it really was. It was like falling in love four beautiful girls and then having to tell three that you don't want them any more.
"About two weeks ago, I really started to feel like Stanford was the best place for me. I love the football program and the coaches there and also felt like outside of football, Stanford offered me the best opportunities to succeed. So I didn't tell anyone about that, I just let that feeling manifest in my heart for about a week to make sure it was right thing to do and after that, I knew for sure Stanford was the place for me.
"So I told all the coaches last week and then signed a scholarship agreement with Stanford last week. I'll be up there for orientation in July and then will be ready to go in the fall. I'm so excited right now. I think Stanford is a special place and has a great chance to turn things around. They have a lot of talent there, more than most people know. They had more players drafted in April than any other Pac 10 school and 5th in the entire nation so the talent is there and I'm so excited to be a part of that.
"Through this whole thing, I feel like I've grown up so much. I'm such a stronger person for having to deal with this and I think I was able to turn it in to a positive. It was a crazy three months or so but I'm happy with how everything turned out and glad I'm able to move on now."