I have heard many stories like this.
The most famous being when dad got Paul Hornung to ND.
Paul wanted to play for Bear Bryant at kentucky...but dad worked on Pauls mom.
We know how that turned out.
I would not be surprised at that somehow my dad got through to Ralph's Grandma. he could be very charming and dad really sold the value of the ND education but more importantly the Religious influence that ND brought.