It's hard for a college coach to surprise a prospect with a scholarship offer. The evaluations, conversations and social media interaction that precede it usually mutes the shock value.
Cassius Peat and his invitation from Vanderbilt seem like the exception. When Peat discusses the situation there's some legitimate astonishment in his voice. The Commodores, it seems, managed to catch him off guard.
"I was really surprised they offered because they just started talking to me a few months ago," Peat said. "I was surprised the pulled the trigger to offer.
"I was talking to one of the coaches on the phone and he just told me they were really interested. He told me that he wanted to be the first to tell me I had an offer from them."
Peat, a linebacker in the class of 2015, holds three scholarship offers at this juncture. He's already visited Stanford, Michigan State and Arizona State. Now that his junior season is officially in the books, additional travel plans are being made.
Peat, it seems, won't be shy about exploration this offseason. The Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol standout is as ambitious as high school juniors come.
"This spring and summer I plan going to see UCLA, Stanford and probably someplace on the East Coast," Peat said. "Vanderbilt or Florida State. Maybe Nebraska. They are on my pretty hard. I'm not really sure yet. Those are the ones I'm considering."
Peat's older brother is a current player at Stanford. How that may affect his recruitment is uncertain, even if Peat tries to downplay the significance of his family ties to the school.
Siblings always play a part. But, for now, his talking points are standard - the usual clichés.
"I don't have any favorites right now, including Stanford," Peat said. "I'm just going to go to the place that best fits me. Even though my brother goes there, there's no favoritism."
Peat, who missed the first five games of his junior season with an injury, finished the year with nine sacks. He plays both linebacker and tight end on the high school level but is being recruited exclusively on defense.