Veteran Colorado linebackers coach Brian Cabral made a big impression on Lakewood linebacker Joe Hemschoot.
The coveted recruit went as far as saying Cabral was his favorite coach he met during the recruiting process he ended Thursday when he gave an oral commitment to Stanford.
So what gives?
More often than not when a recruit and coach bond, as Hemschoot and Cabral apparently did, the prospect ends up playing for the man. Hemschoot said that isn't the case this time around for a variety of reasons.
"It was a combination of things," Hemschoot said. "First of all, there was just a really good feeling around the (Stanford) campus from people on my visit. I experienced something I didn't quite get at my two other options. There is definite support from my parents and obviously the football program is on the rise and I can't go wrong with a degree from there."
Hemschoot, a three-star linebacker from Lakewood High School, was ranked the third best player in Colorado for the 2010 recruiting class by Scout.com. He chose Stanford over the Buffs and Oregon after a whirlwind two months in which he saw interest in his talent jump from scholarship offers from small schools such as the Colorado School of Mines to offers from some of the elite programs in major college football.
Hemschoot said he knows the Stanford program is heading in the right direction, and he said he truly believes coach Dan Hawkins, along with Cabral, will have CU turned around next fall, too. He said it was difficult giving Cabral the news when he
called him Wednesday night. Cabral asked him to sleep on it, and he did, but Hemschoot said he kept coming to the same conclusion.
"It was very tough," Hemschoot said. "Even though it's only been about a month, I've developed a pretty close relationship with coach Cabral. I feel I would have loved experiencing the Buffalo tradition. I know he probably was my favorite coach out of all the coaches recruiting me. He's just a really good person and good mentor."
But Hemschoot acknowledged that uncertainty about the future of the coaching staff and the program in Boulder was at least one factor that played a part in his decision.
"There is uncertainty, but I am confident this next year will be a bounce back year for them," he said. "At the same time, Stanford is getting close to the top. They're rising for sure. Once again, I didn't really feel I could go wrong with that decision."
Hemschoot is another in a long line of recruits with offers from major programs to opt not to sign with the Buffs in this cycle. Many prospects in the CU class Hawkins will announce on national signing day next week do not have offers from programs in Bowl Championship Series conferences.
Colorado has 18 known commitments and is expected to sign 20-21 players in this cycle.
But there was a positive development in recruiting Thursday when former CU commit Danny Spond told the Denver Post he is once again considering the Buffs.
Spond, who played quarterback for Columbine, committed to CU last summer but then de-committed late last fall citing concerns about the future of the program. Spond, who is being recruited as a quarterback or linebacker, met with Hawkins, athletic director Mike Bohn and Chancellor Phil DiStefano and is now considering joining the program.
Spond is a four-star player who is also considering Notre Dame and TCU. He visited the Horned Frogs last weekend and is visiting South Bend today. He is expected to announce his decision by signing day next Wednesday.
Another positive piece of news came Thursday afternoon when longtime talk radio host and former CU coach Irv Brown said during his radio show that his son, former CU secondary coach Greg Brown, has assured him one of CU's best commitments remains solidly with the program.
Quarterback Munchie Legaux, a three-star prospect from New Orleans, visited Arizona last week where Greg Brown now serves as co-defensive coordinator. Legaux also was considering a visit to Cincinnati this weekend.
This weekend is the final stretch in the 2010 cycle. Coaches are not allowed to do any more off-campus recruiting. Programs can host prospects on campus over the weekend. CU is expected to host at least two.
A dead period on the NCAA recruiting calendar begins Monday. That's when coaches will begin pacing the floor waiting for the faxes to begin arriving Wednesday morning.