Inside Johnny Caspers' commitment

In the current day of the accelerated recruiting cycle, Johnny Caspers' relationship with Stanford got off to a late start. Although he sent out his junior-year tape to a number of schools in the spring of 2011, including Stanford, the 6-foot-3, 275-pound interior lineman didn't catch the Cardinal's eye until his high school team played on ESPN early in the season.

"I sent my tape out there after my junior year," Johnny Caspers said. "I think it was by the spring of my junior year. Initially I got on a mailing list, then Coach Crook came out to see me. After the Wheaton South game, which was broadcast on ESPN, they were watching that, their interest increased, and I went out for an official visit."

Casper, who took his official visit to The Farm in October for the Colorado game, and was hosted on his trip by Kevin Reihner.

"It was a great trip," Caspers said. "I got to hang out with the players, the coaches. It was a good game. I got to see Palo Alto, which was something that I had never seen before. It was a great experience."

On the last day of the visit, Caspers was offered by Stanford head coach David Shaw.

"Coach Shaw told me," Caspers said. "It was great because going out there, it was something that initially was kind of bittersweet, being out there on campus and seeing all this stuff and knowing how much I loved it, but I didn't have the offer. But once they offered me it was a great feeling because it kind of became a reality."

It didn't take long for Caspers to accept the Cardinal's offer. He verbally committed to Stanford a few days after returning home from the official visit.

"Academically you can't beat it," Caspers said. "The weather was great out there and it will be a great place to spend five years. The campus is a great atmosphere."

Caspers maintained regular contact with Stanford's coaching staff, particularly with offensive line coach Ron Crook, for the duration of the recruiting cycle. However, as signing day neared, Caspers' recruitment took an uncertain turn.

With less than a week before signing day, Caspers still hadn't heard back from the admissions office. Multiple recruiting sites, including ESPN and, reported that Caspers would no longer consider Stanford as a result. In reality, Caspers never decommitted from Stanford, and was instead waiting for his admissions decision while considering contingency plans.

"I never actually decommitted," Caspers said. "I knew there was a possibility that I may not get admitted so I saw fit that I go and try and look at other options."

Then, however, Coach Shaw called Caspers on the night of Monday Jan. 30 with some news. Caspers had gotten into Stanford.

"It was really good, it was a great moment, finally getting admitted to the school," Caspers said.

Caspers was one of seven offensive linemen in an offensive line class many analysts have called one of the best ever. For his part, Caspers is excited to be a part of the Card's 2012 historic recruiting class.

"It was great to see all those guys sign," Caspers said. "We got a great class…It's exciting, getting out there and competing. It will be great to see where I stack up against some of these guys. I think we can accomplish great things when we get out there."

When asked, Caspers, who will play guard or center at Stanford, admitted feeling a bit of extra motivation to prove he's every bit the player of the higher-ranked 2012 linemen in the class.

"You always want to try and prove yourself to yourself and the coaches and players, so that will definitely be a huge thing," Caspers said.

The three-star recruit plans to major in either environmental engineering or history, and plans to arrive at Stanford in June.

"It will be great," Caspers said. "I've really been looking forward to it ever since my season ended. It will be great to get out there, really looking forward to it both academically and athletically."

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