'10 Ala. TE Dudchock drops Vandy, adds Card

When Oak Mountain High School tight end Davis Dudchock committed to Vanderbilt back in late June, he did so because, "It was the right choice for me at the time." But as the 2009 college football season got underway and signing day neared, Dudchock realized that he had made a premature decision...

So back in October, Davis Dudchock decided to open up his recruitment to three schools: Vanderbilt, Stanford, and Tennessee.

And earlier this week, following his second official visit to Stanford, Dudchock decided it was time to end his recruitment by giving a verbal commitment to the Cardinal.

"I committed to Stanford Monday after school, probably at about 4:30," Dudchock said.

The three star tight end picked the Cardinal over offers from a host of big-time programs such as Florida State, Auburn, Wake Forest and Southern Mississippi, in addition to Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

And while the possibility of playing SEC football close to home was surely enticing, Dudchock felt an emotional connection to Stanford that he didn't have with the other schools on his list.

"I just felt like when it came down to it my heart was with Stanford," he said.

Beyond that, though, Dudchock thinks Stanford presented opportunities both on the football field and in the classroom that the other schools on his list could not.

"I'd say Stanford offers the best of both worlds," Dudchock said. "The team is doing well and they have a great coaching staff. Coach Harbaugh is a great leader. His enthusiasm is definitely one of the things that made me choose Stanford."

Dudchock was also complimentary of his recruiters: tight ends coach Greg Roman and recruiting coordinator and defensive tackles coach Lance Anderson.

"Coach Roman is a great guy," Dudchock said. "He and Coach Anderson recruited me and they're genuine people who are the same all the time, whether they're coaching or talking to you. They're up front and they're honest and I appreciate that."

The Cardinal's interest in the athletic tight end dates back to the middle of Dudchock's junior year, when the Cardinal were among the first few schools to extend him a scholarship offer.

Dudchock says he was "definitely interested in Stanford early on", and that interest only increased after he took an unofficial trip out to The Farm in late May.

"I got to tour the campus for the first time," Dudchock said. "My player host was Andrew luck. He's a great guy and it was a lot of fun to spend time with him, but I got to do a lot of other things as well. I got to meet with Coach Turley and the position coaches and I got the chance to meet an engineering professor. He was a great guy and really the professors at Stanford are so behind the athletic program and they're really supportive of it. The professors really work with the undergraduates just as much as the post-graduates so that means a lot to me, and just their overall passion for Stanford really stood out."

Despite the positive impression left from that trip, Scout.com's No. 18 tight end had established a strong relationship with the Vanderbilt coaching staff and he went ahead and committed to the Commodores in late June.

"It was the right choice for me at the time," Dudchock said. "The coaches at Vanderbilt are great people. I have a good relationship with Coach Cain, the tight ends coach. The offensive line Coach Caldwell recruited me and he's great individual along with Coach Cain. Head Coach Bobby Johnson is a great man and he's a great leader."

But as time went on, Dudchock began to reconsider that choice. He initiated contact with the Stanford coaching staff in October, and decided to take a second unofficial visit up to The Farm for the Oregon game on November 7.

"It was a great visit," Dudchock said. "It was better than the first one. I got to hang out with some different players, some redshirts, some freshmen, and some upperclassmen. It was good to hang out with the players and it was good to see the coaches again. It had been a while. I got a chance to do a lot of things, but it was awesome."

After returning home to his home near Montgomery, Ala., Dudchock mulled his decision over before firmly settling on Stanford earlier this week.

In talking with the Stanford coaching staff, Dudchock learned of their plans to use him as a versatile tight end.

"I'm going to be playing the ‘U' position," Dudchock said. "It's a tight end who's versatile and moves around in the slot some and in motion."

Dudchock thinks those plans fit well with his strengths as a football player.

"I think I'm an explosive player who's versatile," Dudchock said. "I have good hands and I'm pretty well-rounded. I'd say I bring different things to the table but versatility is the main thing."

And barring a major surprise, Dudchock will have the opportunity to bring those skills to Palo Alto come next fall. He submitted his application a few weeks ago and seems like a pretty safe bet to get through Stanford's admissions process with a self-reported 4.1 GPA and a 28 ACT.

"Hopefully [I'll hear back] within the next week or two," Dudchock said.

Once he gets official confirmation of his admittance, Dudchock has no plans to continue on in his recruitment.

"Oh my recruitment has shut down 100 percent and I'm 100 percent to Stanford," Dudchock said. I'm not taking any other visits besides to Stanford."

Indeed, Dudchock does plan on taking a third unofficial visit to Stanford this weekend for the Big Game, and will return to The Farm in mid-January for the committed recruits' official visit weekend.

And while Dudchock is surely excited about those upcoming trips, he is a little disappointed about one thing: the wait.

"I'm really ready to go," Dudchock said. "I'd go to Stanford now."

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