"I really liked it at Cal and the [Stanford] admissions process was kind of nerve-wrecking for me," Hoffpauir said. "I didn't know if I would be admitted or not. I wanted to have somewhere to go, I guess if I got hurt or something. So that's pretty much what it was at first, I was just more comfortable with Cal at that time."
But the Cardinal convinced Hoffpauir to take an official visit to the Farm, which helped convince the three-star safety to switch his commitment.
"They kept recruiting me hard, and then I took my official there and I really liked it," Hoffpauir said. "Just felt really good about Stanford."
Changing his commitment from Cal to Stanford wasn't an easy decision, however. Hoffpauir also considered hometown Arizona State, and didn't make a final choice until the Sunday before signing day when he called Stanford coach David Shaw to commit.
"It was pretty stressful at the end, but it's a good stress to have, I guess, with all the choices," Hoffpauir said. "It was stressful but it was an overall fun process."
Hoffpauir also had an opportunity to speak with Stanford's co-defensive coordinators Derek Mason and Jason Tarver about the opportunity to contribute early in the secondary next season.
"They said that they're going to give me a chance to compete for a spot in the beginning and they expect me to to be an impact player coming in and at least make guys work hard for their spots," Hoffpauir said.
With signing day now past, Hoffpauir is free to focus on finishing his high school career and preparing to enroll at Stanford. He'll be joined on the Farm by a top-10 recruiting class, highlighted by the frenzy of Stanford signing day commits. Hoffpauir said that while he's not a big believer in the star system, he was excited to see other players join him in the Card's 2012 class.
"It was exciting," Hoffpauir. "I'm not big on the stars and all that stuff. It's just fun to see other guys committing. I couldn't care less what their rating is because I think ratings are a bunch of a crap anyway. It was exciting to see all these guys committed." [Ed: Don't make us take away a star now, Zach.]
Hoffpauir, who plans to arrive on campus in late June, is excited to begin the next stage of his life.
"It's going to be really exciting," Hoffpauir said. "A new start, it's like a different part of my life."
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