Christian Sanders, one of the top basketball guards in Texas, committed to Stanford on Saturday just after visiting Maryland, which was considered the frontrunner for the 6-foot-3 shooting guard.
Sanders, who attends St. Thomas Catholic in Houston, valued academics and that likely became the deciding factor for him to join Johnny Dawkins, who formerly coached in the ACC at Duke.
Sanders was recruited by Mark Turgeon at Texas A&M, and that continued when teh coach moved to Maryland. Sanders also had offers from Colorado, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt, among others.
Turgeon and Christian's father Brad are long-time friends, and Sanders played with Maryland recruit Shaquille Cleare on an AAU team in Houston.
Father and son both acknowledged the strong bond to Maryland but Sanders insisted he would look at future schools analytically.
Sanders and Cleare helped the Houston Defenders Elite win the national AAU Super Showcase tournament over the summer.
Sanders becomes the first commitment for the class of 2012.