With over 20 offers in-hand, linebacker Fred Craig out of Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier came to a decision this weekend. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has decided to head West for his collegiate career.
"I committed last night to Stanford around five or six," he said. "I called my recruiter, D.J. Durkin and after that I called coach Harbaugh. They were both really happy and sounded ecstatic over the phone.
"After I told them I was committing, they mentioned I'd play on special teams as a freshman and get a good chance for playing time as a freshman too. They will eventually move me over to linebacker, but it depends on how big I come in at and get."
Not too long ago, Craig visited the Golden State and took a trip to Stanford.
"I visited about two weeks ago and got to see the Bay area and San Francisco," he said. "I got to go out with the defensive coaches and I just felt like I fit in with them. They were real down-to-earth and I could tell I'd be at home in that situation. The people there were great and that was my final measuring stick."
Certainly numerous other factors played into the three-star prospect's decision.
"Obviously the reputation and academics speak for themselves," he said. "Those were major things that attracted me to Stanford. I'll probably end up studying economics. I've always been raised in an environment where academics are of the utmost importance. My high school is tough and I want to continue that at Stanford.
"I also got to know the coaches. There is a youth in the coaching staff that brings a lot of enthusiasm. They are committed to getting the program back on track and that was attractive too. It allows me to be part of a place where they are rebuilding.
"Finally, it was defensive coordinator Scott Shafer. On my visit there with him I got to sit down and see how passionate and intense he was. He drew me there along with coach Harbaugh. I watched him interact with his players and he's intense too. That's the kind of atmosphere I want to be in. It starts from the top."
The No. 51 outside linebacker in the country is relieved to have the decision behind him.
"I'm really excited about the commitment and getting it off my chest," he said. "Now I can focus on my senior season. I didn't want it hanging over my head and everyone on my team."