he grew a beard
Illinois has a few top defensive linemen in the 2012 class and Vontrell Williams is included on that list. The 6-foot-2, 263-pound defensive tackle currently holds offers from Bowling Green, CMU, Illinois, and Toledo among others, but has recently been hearing from some big time schools. Michigan is one of those programs showing interest in the Chicago native, and Vontrell took a trip over to Ann Arbor this weekend. Here's a look at his film and what he thought of the visit.
TOM: What was the first thing you saw on your visit?
VONTRELL: When we first got there we saw my dad's old teammate, Coach Hecklinski. After that we went to an academic meeting and saw the academic staff. I learned a lot academic wise and how they help us through college. They make it easier for you to transition.
TOM: Your dad was teammates with Coach Hecklinski?
VONTRELL: Yeah, they played at Western Illinois together. That kind of helps to have someone there that we already trust.
TOM: That's interesting. So what did you guys do after the academic meeting?
VONTRELL: After that we went to watch practice. You would never know that was their first practice. Everything was so crisp, I don't know, everything seemed to be on point like they've been practicing for years. That let me know that Michigan is back now and that Coach Hoke is going to do good things.
TOM: After practice I'm assuming you got to see the facilities and the Big House?
VONTRELL: Man, the weight room was unlike any other weight room. They had some things I've never seen before. It was very professional, it was pretty crazy. They had machines that get you warmed up in less than two minutes. And then the Big House, man, I've never been inside the Big House and there's nothing like being right in the middle of that M. Just looking around and picturing all those fans there it was great.
TOM: After the facilities then did you get a chance to sit down with the coaches?
VONTRELL: Yeah, I was able to meet Coach Montgomery, Coach Hoke, and also Coach Mattison. We met Coach Jackson too and also Coach Singletary. I was impressed by all of them, but I was most impressed with the resume of Coach Mattison. Being the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, it says a lot to come back to Michigan. To coach those guys at the Ravens and to come back really says a lot. It also says a lot about how long the coaching staff will be there. I believe that will be the last place Coach Hoke and Coach Mattison will coach at. I also believe that the coaching staff they have around them they'll bring home some national championships.
TOM: Wow, you have a lot of good things to say about Michigan and this trip, were you a fan of Michigan growing up? Is there a reason you know so much about them?
VONTRELL: I've been a Michigan fan all my life. Just visiting Michigan was a dream come true. Then to have the Michigan coaches like me was another plus. Michigan has always had my eye, I know the fight song and everything.
TOM: With you having such high interest in Michigan, I know they haven't offered yet but did they talk to you about what you need to do to get that offer?
VONTRELL: They talked to me about it, yeah. Coach Mattison was telling me that Michigan isn't like other schools that just throw out offers. They told me that I'm very very high on their list, that I shouldn't get discouraged that they haven't offered yet, and if I do everything I'm supposed to then I'll have an offer eventually.
TOM: What's it like to hear that from a Coach? What goes through your head when you hear him tell you he's interested in you?
VONTRELL: It's an honor that any college wants you, but it's a special honor with Coach Mattison. Achieving everything he's done, it's amazing. For him to actually tell me he wants me to play for his school it means a lot to me. Once upon a time I felt like maybe I wasn't a big time player, but with Coach Mattison telling me that, I know I'm a big time player now.
TOM: With all that being said, when do you want to make your final decision? How is your recruitment going to play out?
VONTRELL: I want to make my decision when I'm 100% sure. While Michigan is a great school I want to take my official visit there to be 100% sure on whichever school. I'll never know just by talking to the coaches on the phone, I need to be there. I need to be around the student body, around the players and the coaches to get to know them more. I just want to be 100%.
TOM: Even thought they haven't offered yet, after this visit where does Michigan stand?
VONTRELL: Michigan is definitely in the top three. I'm still kind of choosing the other schools in the top group, but Michigan is definitely in there.
TOM: Will you be making it back up to Michigan any time soon?
VONTRELL: Yeah, I'll be back up for the spring game. I'll definitely be there for that.
At the risk of ridicule, are Pryor and the other suspended Buckeye's suspensions actually finalized? I know the NCAA denied the appeal of their suspensions, but I'm unclear whether or not the revelation about Tressel covering up the violations was taken into consideration. When the Committee meets to determine his fate, is Pryor's final year at stake as well?
It seems obvious that the players played an entire season while ineligible and with the NCAA's tendency to mete out eye for an eye type punishment, is their whole season in jeopardy?
The NFL has made some significant changes to their rules. Kickoffs will take place from the 35 yard line with 5 yard starts for members of the coverage team..
All scoring plays will be reviewed and confirmed by the official in the replay booth.
California OT prospect Erik Magnuson has recently seen his recruitment take off with offers from Arizona, Miami, Michigan, Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA among others. The La Costa Canyon High offensive lineman's stature lives up to his last name standing at 6-foot-6, and 275-pounds. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say about Michigan.
TOM: For anyone that hasn't seen you play can you describe yourself and your game?
ERIK: I'm quick, athletic, big, and aggressive. I just love to compete no matter who my opponent is.
TOM: Since you're from California how interested are you in Michigan, and how much do you know about Michigan?
ERIK: I'm really interested. I've never been there, but I know the coaches from before and I love them.
TOM: You knew them from when they were at San Diego State?
ERIK: Yeah, I know them from there. I feel like Coach Funk is a great coach and really knows a lot about the offensive line. I know him the best, and talk to him a lot. Coach Hoke is just the man. He took me in when I was a sophomore and just really treated me well. He was always true with me and never fed me any BS.
TOM: Again to go back to the California thing, is distance going to be an issue for you?
ERIK: I'm not sure yet, because I've only visited west coast schools, but I don't really think so. I know my family will still come to games no matter where I go. Also, I've spent a lot of time in Canada so I know what cold weather is all about. The weather doesn't affect me at all; I prefer it actually.
TOM: Does that mean that you're going to try to get out to Michigan any time soon?
ERIK: I'm not really sure about any time soon because I'm really busy with AAU basketball and football training and camps. It's hard to find time, but I'm for sure going to use one of my official visits to Michigan.
TOM: To use an official that means you have to wait until the season starts. Are you planning on waiting until signing day to make your decision, or do you want to get it done sooner?
ERIK: I haven't decided yet if I want to wait until signing day, but I'm definitely going to wait until I'm comfortable and 100% sure. I just have to weigh out all my options and do what is best for me in the end.
TOM: With that being said, and I know it's early, but do you have a top list yet?
ERIK: My list of top five changes about every week with new offers coming and what not, but Michigan is always in it. Right now it's Oregon, USC, Michigan, Miami, and Oklahoma.
TOM: When you go to evaluate these schools to make your final decision what are you looking for?
ERIK: A winning program where I feel like I will have a good chance to get a lot of playing time. And like I said I want someone that I feel comfortable with, it's going to be a lot of how I feel.
Tonight, Brady Hoke will be at Barton Hills Country Club giving a talk and interacting with the members. I will be in attendance (no I'm not bragging) and was wondering what people would like to hear from Coach Hoke? i.e. what questions, if any, would you like to have him answer?
I'll do my best to talk to him and insert these questions into the conversation.
That is all.