Texas' courtship of Joshua Eaton made for an easy decision to commit
First impressions are often lasting impressions, and Texas could not have a hit a bigger home run than the way they caught Joshua Eaton's attention at the very start of his recruitment this spring.
Eaton was on an unofficial visit to The Forty Acres in February when cornerbacks coach Jason Washington blindsided the four-star cornerback with an offer in riveting fashion. A group of highly touted defensive backs were touring the football facilities on campus, going over the legendary uniforms and getting a closer look at the burnt orange gear when Washington reached into a backpack and instead informed Eaton he had picked up an offer from the University of Texas.
From there, the Horns had secured a place in Eaton's heart.
"It was a long process, but when Texas offered me in such a special way, on campus and the way Coach Jay Wash did it, that never happened to me before," Eaton told Rivals. "It was something different. Everyone else offered me, but the way they offered, the way Coach Washington kept in touch before the offer, after the offer, daily, every day throughout the day.
"It was different. I'm not gonna lie ... everyone else called on the phone to let me know I got an offer, but Texas made me wait. They still recruited me throughout the process and who would've expected to get an offer walking and talking ... It's just different. I got to share it with my friends, my family and my teammates, and it was a different experience that stayed in my mind for a long time."
"Texas knows how to recruit better than most places," he continued. "They're not talking down anybody or embracing themselves; they're just cool, they know what they're doing and the best in Texas go to Texas. Now, you're seeing it."
Washington's creativity wound up being symbolic of Eaton's entire recruitment. Essentially, when it came to the Longhorns' recruiting style, they were always different.
Washington didn't recruit Eaton alone. He had the help from multiple members on the staff, including the head man, Tom Herman. The way Eaton connected with the current Texas football players was a major X-factor that made for a rather simple decision at crunch time as Eaton was ready to announce his intentions.
"It wasn't just one coach that recruits you at Texas; it's all the coaches involved and it's a big part when the head coach is involved," Eaton detailed. "All the coaches on the staff were involved. That's just different. I was talking to everybody, including the players. The players at Texas was who I connected with the most. Every time I go up there they showed me love and I'd be around the players most of the time, along with my position coach, so connecting with the players and the coaches, I felt like that was perfect for me."
Admittedly, Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M each had Eaton's attention at different junctures in his recruitment dating back to the start of the year. The LSU offer and the team's history of churning out NFL defensive backs was appealing. The same goes for Alabama, which routinely produces first-rounders, especially in the secondary. Texas A&M was trending for Eaton as recently as this summer at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge.
Then, Eaton had to truly weight his options and opportunities and do some reflecting on what was truly important to his commitment.
"I always wanted to go to Texas, but you let people get in your head. You hear stuff about the SEC and then you second-guess yourself," Eaton admitted. "You can get to the league from the Big-12. If you're a baller, you can get to the league from everywhere. The SEC, ACC ... none of that matters. Football is football, and we're all trying to get to the same place no matter what conference you play in."