James Vaughters, what's your deal?

A whale at the top of Stanford's 2011 recruiting board has come ashore in Palo Alto.

Tucker High School (suburban Atlanta) star linebacker James Vaughters narrowed his lengthy list of suitors down to a final five last month, before making his college decision public earlier today.

In a press conference at a nearby fitness center, Vaughters informed the college football community of his intentions to continue his education and football career at Stanford.

"The [Stanford] football program is on the rise, led by a strong coach in Coach Harbaugh, who has built a staff that will compete for a conference championship and even possibly a national championship," Vaughters told The Bootleg earlier this week.

"It's compelling to be able to go to a rising program like Stanford, where not every prospect can go, that has a chance to do something they have not done in a very long time, which is win a national championship, at such a prestigious school," the four-star prospect added.

Vaughters, Scout.com's No. 6 inside linebacker in the nation, is the 16th prospect to make a public verbal commitment to Stanford. Vaughters is the highest rated of Stanford's current commits, checking in at 71st in the nation.

Vaughters picked the Cardinal over finalists Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, and Georgia Tech, in addition to offers from nearly every other major program in the country.

Scout.com Southeast recruiting analyst Chad Simmons chimed in on what made Vaughters such a highly-touted national recruit.

"Vaughters has natural size and ability that will make him a national recruit. He could end up at linebacker or defensive end on the next level. His strength, athleticism and discipline are three very big strengths of his. He still could grow into a defensive end and that is where he plays now, so if he moves to LB in college, he will need to work on dropping back in coverage and shedding blocks on the second level."

Stay tuned to The Bootleg in the coming days for much more on one of the biggest commitments Stanford football has received in years.

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