Immediately after Austin gave his commitment to Stanford, he placed calls to Notre Dame coach Tony Alford and Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins. He informed them of his decision and thanked them both for their consideration and friendship during his recruitment.
Austin is the 13th commit in the Cardinal's 2011 recruiting class. He is ranked as the 107th player in the country and a 4-star recruit by Scout.com, which makes him the highest rated prospect in the class, edging out QB Evan Crower (No. 114) by 7 spots.
"My family and I, over the past week and half or so, have been discussing the opportunities for me at each school. When it came down to it, it was obvious to all of us that Stanford was the best opportunity. It just felt like it was the best fit for me, personally," exclaimed Austin!
Throughout Austin's recruitment, he has consistently said that he wanted to make his commitment this summer. When asked why the change in his timeline, Austin shared that the situation at Notre Dame last week forced him, along with his parents, to evaluate where he was with his top schools. "With their latest O-Line commitment, Notre Dame has only a single spot left. If I wanted to play there, it was time to make a decision."
After Austin and his parents weighed the pros and cons of his top three schools, Stanford came up on top in every category. But in the end, it was his strong gut feeling that Stanford was the right choice that led him to make his commitment now, as opposed to later this summer (which had been his original plan).
"The key things we were looking at were the quality and reputation of the university's academic programs, the quality and direction of the football program, and the relationships I had with my position coaches and the players. In all of these areas Stanford came out on top."
There is no doubt what Stanford brings to the table as an academic institution, but Austin was equally impressed with what the Cardinal are bringing to the table as a football program under the guidance of Jim Harbaugh.
"When I went out there for junior day I was just really impressed with Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and how he conducted himself and how he ran his program. Every year the football team has improved under his leadership and the quality of players he is recruiting is incredible. I want to be a part of a championship football team and I am convinced that Stanford will win a PAC-10 title, and perhaps even more, in the near future. Also, I am excited to begin working with Coach (Tim) Drevno and Coach (Greg) Roman. They are both amazing, incredibly smart guys and I know that they will be able to help me develop to my full potential."
The number one player in the state of Colorado could have seen himself at a number of programs, but is looking forward to getting a new life started in Palo Alto, Cali., because he feels extremely comfortable with the area and the campus.
"First off, the weather out there is beautiful year round," Austin beamed. "The campus out there is incredibly beautiful. I can easily see myself enjoying five years of my life there. I was really impressed with the whole environment. One thing that I really liked is that all of the sports facilities were centered in one particular area. It was like you could not go 100 feet without hitting something. It had everything right there."
Throughout the recruiting process Austin hauled in a dozen offers from schools like Stanford, Notre Dame, Colorado, Kansas State, Kansas, Colorado State, UCLA, Arizona, California, Utah, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In the end it came down to a choice between Stanford, Notre Dame, and Colorado.
"All of the schools that were recruiting me were amazing programs and really great institutions," Austin informed about the tough task of deciding between all of his offers.
"I am especially grateful to Notre Dame and Colorado for all of things that they did to make my recruiting experience so positive. Tony Alford, who recruited my area at Notre Dame, was an amazing guy and we developed a great relationship over the past few months. At Colorado, Coach Dan Hawkins is a great guy and I really enjoyed the time we spent together."
As a junior, Austin was elected a Captain at Chaparral High and then went on to earn All-Colorado, All-State and All-Southern League honors after a dominating 2009 season. During both his sophomore and junior years he won Academic All-State honors.