Badger's Curious Decision Explained
In a decision that surprised many
observers of Stanford football recruiting, three-star Timpview HS
Badger originally committed to the Cardinal back in March and had given few public indications that he was considering backing off that stance in recent months. But when his "dream" school offered about a month ago, Badger started to reconsider his decision.
"I always kind of grew up following Notre Dame and knowing about their history and tradition," Badger said. "When they called me in the spring I realized I never really gave them a fair chance in my recruitment by committing so early."
Badger thinks that one of the reasons he didn't initially consider all of his options is because of the accelerated recruiting cycle in college football.
"The pressure is huge (with the accelerated recruiting cycle)," Badger said. "It's kind of unfortunate. I mean its getting earlier and earlier and I don't think that's healthy for 16- and 17-year-old kids, I think they should take there time and when once find the school that's right for you go with it once you've looked at all the options."
So about a month after receiving the Irish offer, Badger and his family flew up to Notre Dame just to make sure Stanford was the right place for him.
"I kind of always had Notre Dame in the back of my mind and when I visited it showed me that I would be happiest there," Badger said. It was a tough decision. I love both schools and there were definitely tons of things that were similar about them. It just came down having to make the tough call of having to do what I think is best for me."
"Being there with my family and seeing that they reacted to the coaches and campus with the same exact feeling that I was getting and being able to feel the history and tradition there on the campus and in the stadium kind of did it for me," Badger said.
Still, it was difficult for Badger to break the news of his decommitment to the Stanford coaching staff.
"They were tough phone calls and I know they were definitely disappointed - I was one of their first commits," Badger said. "It's not easy, but they've been through this before. It's happened lots of times in football coming from both sides, not just players leaving coaches, but coaches leaving players. I just had to go with what I felt is right and I feel terrible to do that to the coaches but in the end it has to come down to what will make me happy."
Badger also had to deal with the disappointment of several players still committed to be a part of Stanford's 2010 recruiting class.
"I'm really good friends with them and that made it even harder," Badger said. "They're supportive and I'm still friends with all of them. They understand where I'm coming from but its tough for them and its tough for me, but I still love all those guys and I look forward to playing against them."
And unfortunately for Stanford fans and Cardinal verbal commits who hope Badger has another change of heart, the three-star safety says he is certain of his decision to attend Notre Dame.
"It would be ridiculous to take more visits or change my commitment again," Badger said. "I didn't plan on ever switching commitments but Notre Dame came along and that's just kind of how it happened. I've now seen the schools that I like and I know where I'll be happiest at."
At the time of his decommitent, Badger had completed about 75% of the Stanford application. Being a legacy student and scoring 24 on his first attempt at the ACT, it doesn't appear that his decision was related to troubles with the admission process.
Badger also denied Stanford accepting two big-time safety commits this past weekend had anything to do with his change of heart.
"I didn't even know that other kids had committed until after I committed to Notre Dame," Badger said. I mean there will be competition at whatever school I go to. I'd argue that there's competition at Notre Dame so I'm going to go there and compete. I'd compete wherever I go – competition is something I'd never run away from."
Editor's Note: We wish young Mr. Badger the best of luck and happiness and look forward to watching him read the names on the backs of our wide receivers' jerseys.