Once defensive lineman Jordan Gipson picked up that first offer from SMU, his recruitment ended shortly after he tripped up to Dallas to check out the campus, meeting the staff and committed quickly.
"It (recruiting) wasn't as bad as people said it was going to be. My coach said after that first offer came in that it was going to get crazy," Gipson said. "After they offered me, I came up there two weeks later and liked the campus and the facilities so I committed."
All the connections between SMU and Bay City played a big role in landing Gipson with the Mustangs.
"Coach Morris used to be the head coach at my high school and coach McDaniel played at my high school. Two trainers that work at SMU, worked for my uncle, who's the head trainer for the Buffalo Bills, so if you can depend on anyone, you can depend on someone from your hometown."
The future Criminal Justice major said that his recruiting coach, Archie McDaniel, developed a close bond along with defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt and head coach Chad Morris.
"It's really cool. Two dudes from Bay City with one being able to coach me going to Dallas. We're pretty close," Gipson said. "I like how he (Wyatt) is so energetic. What he needs to tell you, he's not going to sugarcoat it.
"He's (Morris) a family man and things like that. He came from Bay City too. Things like that."
On his official visit, Gipson liked trying on the uniforms and getting to meet the other commits even though he generally, likes to stay to himself, focusing on football school. His host, Demerick Gary, impressed him during the visit.
"He's just a fun dude to be around. He's going to do everything right and he's a leader."
SMU sees the 6-2, 260-pound lineman playing that strong side defensive end position and is excited about how Van Malone has improved the defensive side of the ball from Year 1 to Year 2, with the defense forcing more turnovers.
"Sometimes I played defensive end, but they moved me inside a lot. I like when they had me out on the end so I could rush a lot," Gipson said. "Pass rushing is easier like that. They said I can do things that most people can't and I'm athletic for my side"
Not many players come out of Bay City and Gipson said it's an honor to sign with a Division I program.
"I can't even tell you how it feels. Growing up in a small town like Bay City, not too many things like this happen to everybody," Gipson said.
With Gipson set to arrive in June, he's focused on getting ready for the next level so he can contribute as soon as possible.
"I'm just ready for football to start. Ready to go down there and fight for a spot to start. Got to improve on my strength and get comfortable doing some of the things they ask."
Tulsa showed interest in Gipson early on, but he shut down his recruitment completely after committing to SMU. His high school coach doesn't allow coaches to reach out to recruits after they commit.