Four games into his junior season at Lawton (Okla.) Eisenhower, Daniel Tabon was leading the state of Oklahoma. But that's when a situation at home forced him to step off the gridiron and into recruiting obscurity.
He ended up resurfacing at Altus, Okla., where he had a monster senior season and has now turned himself into the hottest target this side of the Red River.
"I had a pretty good year," Tabon (pronounced Tay-bin) said. "Nobody started out recruiting me at all. I think they didn't know where I was at. I was leading the team in tackles at Lawton Ike and then I had to stop playing football.
"I then started out at safety this season, and I ran a 4.48-second time in the 40-yard dash at Tulsa's camp. But I wasn't still getting much attention. That's when I started to send out my senior tape, and all of a sudden the schools started flocking to me."
Did they ever.
Tabon, who is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound safety, went from very little attention to having an offer from Kansas defensive coordinator Bill Young, an offer from Texas Tech and also one from Tulsa. He added to that offer by one after taking an official visit to Oklahoma this weekend.
"The coaches say they really like the way I attack the ball and how the team rallied around me," Tabon said. "I was told by a few coaches that I might be the second best player in the state. I went from nobody on me at all to having Bill Young from KU, Brent Venables at OU, Texas Tech, TCU and Tulsa all on me all of a sudden."
Tabon said he was offered this weekend personally by Sooner coach Bob Stoops. He enjoyed his time in Norman quite a bit but didn't come away committed.
"They showed me around, and I liked what I saw," Tabon said. "I met with the players, and watched two of their practices. I was pretty excited about the whole experience, but I tried not to show it. I want to feel everything out still."
Tabon said his meeting with coach Stoops was something he'll always remember.
"I met with him on several occasions over the weekend," he said. "He's really cool. You see him on TV and he's all serious, and then you see him in person and he's really friendly. It's like two totally different people. He was fun, and that was something I enjoyed. I liked getting to know him."
Tabon said he's now considering taking other visits to Kansas, TCU, Tulsa and possibly Texas Tech. But he also didn't rule out a decision some time in the near future.
"I'm going to talk things over with my parents, and who knows what might happen next," he said. "I would like to see a few other places to compare."
Tabon admits he knows what he's looking for in the perfect school.
"I'm looking for a chance to make an immediate impact," he said. "I think I can help some coach and some organization win a lot of football games."