Hats dance, but Callihan stays with Card

Louisiana defensive tackle Lance Callihan committed to Stanford last summer, but picked up a few more big-time offers over the past few months. Those offers, coupled with admissions questions and the uncertainty surrounding Jim Harbaugh's future on The Farm, caused the three star recruit to re-evaluate his recruitment to make sure he was making the right choice.

The self-imposed evaluation period came to a close Sunday afternoon, when Callihan held a small ceremony with friends to inform them of his final decision.

"I've always been committed (to Stanford), but there were rumors going around that I was going somewhere else and all my friends were asking me what I was going to do, so I pretty much kept quiet until now and let them know," Lance Callihan told The Bootleg in a Sunday night interview.

Keeping with time-honored recruiting tradition, Callihan had planned to display hats representing several schools, and then pick the Stanford cap. There was only one problem with that plan – the other hats never came.

"I ordered all the other hats but they didn't come in on time," Callihan said.

So, Callihan did the next best thing to maintain some of the drama surrounding his declaration.

"I picked the Stanford hat from a box," he said.

All headgear aside, the fact that Callihan was wavering on his Stanford commitment for a period of time might come as a surprise to some Cardinal fans.

The three-star recruit, however, chalked his indecision up to a number of factors.

"I really wanted to go to Stanford, but it was a sticky situation knowing you weren't admitted and the coaching situation, and all these schools are coming after you asking what you want to do," Callihan said.

"All these schools" refers to the programs that got into the race for Callihan after he committed to Stanford. The defensive tackle reported that TCU, Michigan State, and Penn State were among the programs that tendered him late offers.

"TCU and Michigan State came really hard," Callihan said. "I really liked their programs. Stanford was always my No. 1 but they did give a good try. Maryland was still recruiting me, University of Richmond was still recruiting me, and Penn State, too."

But once he was admitted to Stanford and got more comfortable with the new coaching staff, Callihan was able to solidify his decision.

Callihan's third trip to Palo Alto – for the Big Visit earlier this month – didn't hurt, either.

"The first couple of times I got a really good feel of the place; the third time was pretty much getting to know the players," Callihan said.

Callihan, who was hosted by defensive lineman David Parry, said that getting better acquainted with his future teammates was the highlight of his trip.

"Getting to see all the players that I'm going to be with for the next four or five years was the highlight," Callihan said.

Callihan also got to meet Andrew Luck, who gave the Louisianan a hard time about his hometown of Baton Rouge.

"Jeremy (Stewart) always talks about Baton Rouge, so they guys are a little tired of hearing about Baton Rouge," Callihan joked.

Of course, while in Palo Alto, Callihan got a chance to spend some time with the coaching staff, as well.

"I got to meet (Coach Shaw) on the visit and he came down last week," Callihan said.

Unfortunately for Shaw and his travel partner, recruiting coordinator Lance Anderson, the trip to Baton Rouge endured a few complications.

"I didn't really get a chance to talk to (Coach Shaw) much when he came down because he and Coach Anderson got stuck in traffic for three hours in New Orleans," Callihan said. "By the time they got down here it was almost 10:00 p.m. and they had an early flight. so I talked to them briefly. They got to meet my family and then I let them go because I knew they were tired and Coach Anderson had to go all the way back to New Orleans." Nevertheless, Callihan is confident his future coach has the program in good hands.

"I'm very confident in what Shaw's going to do," Callihan said. "I think he's going to do great."

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