Atmosphere, facilities, academics. In his mind, they had it all.
"I get to Kansas, and I'm just blown away," Shoff said.
At the time, however, Kansas was playing catch-up with the 6-foot-6, 290-pound lineman from Cambridge (NE) High School. A lifelong fan of the home-state Cornhuskers, he planned to wait in hopes of picking up an offer from Head Coach Bo Pelini. He had one on the table from Iowa, and interest flowing in from a slew of additional programs.
But the Jayhawks stayed on him, stayed in touch, even through the murky waters of a coaching transition. Last week, Shoff said a Kansas staffer visited him at school to let him know the scholarship offer extended by the previous regime held true - and to tell him a little bit about the philosophy of new head coach Charlie Weis.
Their perseverance may just be paying off, as Kansas has put itself in strong position with Shoff. He now hopes to take an official visit sometime after the first of the year.
Currently, Shoff is in the middle of the final chapter in what has been an astonishing career as a high school wrestler. Competing in the heavyweight classification, to date he has compiled an overall record of 130-1, with his only loss coming in the state championship match of his freshman year. During both his sophomore and junior campaigns, he completed undefeated, championship runs.
Shoff is currently rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, and the No. 51 defensive tackle in the Class of 2012.