Ohio LB Joe Bolden (6'2", 225 lbs) was in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago with his dad and his uncle, who also happens to be his coach. He decided to take another trip back up, but this time with his mom and dad. Here's his highlight film and his thoughts on the visit.
TOM: You were just in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago, so what prompted this visit?
JOE: I didn't see as much as I wanted to last time. This time we got to drive through campus, see the classrooms, and we just got to see a lot more than last time. We go the grand tour of everything. I didn't get to see a dorm because there weren't any vacant, but I got to see the building that I would be living in.
TOM: I know you went up with your dad and uncle last time, who went with you this time?
JOE: Just my mom and dad.
TOM: What did they think of the visit. Your dad has seen campus before, but this was the first time for mom. How did she like it?
JOE: She really liked it. She really liked Coach Hoke, and Mrs. Hoke and Mrs. Mattison were actually up there so she got to talk to them for awhile too. To me she seemed pretty impressed.
TOM: Did they have questions for the coaches that they, as parents, wanted answered? I know moms can be protective sometimes.
JOE: Not really any more questions, they pretty much answered everything before I asked them. Coach Hoke without my parents even asking answered everything. We sat down for about 45 minutes and just talked about me living up there. He talked about her being a mom and obviously she's protective. He told her that if I were to choose Michigan that I'd be safe and taken care of.
TOM: So where are you at right now with the process? I know you told me last time that you think you're getting close, but what does that mean?
JOE: Right now I have it narrowed down to a couple schools that I'm very serious about, but I want to keep those quiet so I don't give anyone the wrong impression. I'm getting as much information on them as I can, and talking to as many good resources as I can.
TOM: How will you know when you're ready to decide?
JOE: I still haven't gotten the chance to sit down with my mother, father, and uncle and weigh out the pro's and con's of everything. My uncle wasn't at school today, but we'll probably sit down in the next couple days. I really don't have a timeline, it could happen tomorrow or it could happen in February. I'm not sure yet.
TOM: When you say weigh everything out, what are you thinking about with regards to each school?
JOE: Academics has always been a big part of my life. My parents have stressed school work comes before the game of football, so that's number one. If I fit into the program, if I like the coaches, and if the university has tradition, a good winning tradition.
Ohio LB Joe Bolden (6'2", 225 lbs) was up at Michigan around two weeks ago. If you don't remember, you can see his visit reaction here. Bolden came away very impressed from the visit last time.
I spoke with him tonight and he told me that he will be back up to Michigan next Tuesday (April 12th) with his parents. He also told me that he believes he is close to a decision, he's just not sure when it will come.
I should also point out that Michigan commit OL Caleb Stacey has been recruiting Bolden and trying to get him to come to Michigan. We'll see what happens.
There are a ton of visitors this weekend so there will probably be a matching amount of info. Since OL Ben Braden and LB Joe Bolden were the two visitors on Thursday I'm going to do a mini update on them here. Here's a look at how their trips went.
6'2", 225 lbs
Bolden has a decent offer list so far with the likes of Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Stanford, and Tennessee to name a few. He took in Ann Arbor for the first time with his dad, uncle, and cousin.
We got there around noonish and we met with Coach Smith, Coach Mattison, and Coach Hoke. Coach Mattison told me more than likely I'd be playing the MIKE linebacker spot. It's definitely a privelage to sit down with him and watch film. Coach Hoke basically stated the goals as a football coach, as a team, and as an individual. We just talked casually for awhile.
As usual the coaches were down to earth and the Big House was shockingly big.
The coaches were really easy to talk to, I feel like I get along with them really well. My dad is my AD and my uncle is my coach and they knew the coaches from when they were at Ball State. They really like those coaches, and they've known each other for awhile. We all got to go to the Big House too, and that sent chills down my back thinking about the history that's been in that stadium.
This visit was a positive for Michigan, but Bolden isn't making his decision any time soon.
I was definitely impressed by this visit. Michigan is definitely up there on the list overall. I haven't narrowed anything down yet, I just know that Michigan is up there.
Bolden may visit North Carolina this weekend, and plans on trying to make it back up to Michigan sometime soon.
6'6", 285 lbs
As you probably know Braden committed on his visit Thursday. He and his coach had planned this visit for awhile and Ben decided that he was comfortable enough to make his decision. I spoke with his head coach, Ralph Munger, about the visit.
He and his father made a trip to Wisconsin, the family made a trip to MSU, and also Michigan. He's been traveled and checked out a lot of places. Ben shared with me and his parents that he appreciated all the time with the coaches, but he just feels real comfortable with Michigan. He was going to go to MSU also, but in the last couple weeks he was just really excited about Michigan. After today I could see why, he really feels comfortable there. He connected, he looked at the educational opportunities, the football opportunities, and he felt that was the place he could call home.
From a coaching perspective, it's important that a high school coach is comfortable sending his players to that respective school they choose. Luckily for Michigan, Coach Munger has a long time relationship with Brady Hoke.
I've known Brady for a lot of years, he's been very good to me. I've learned a lot from Brady. I've known him on a very personal level and what you see is what you get with Brady. All the years that I've known him and he's still the same guy that he was ten years ago. He's definitely a player's coach, a coach's coach. I can't say enough good things about Brady. He has a certain magnetism with attracting good people. He's very demanding of his players, yet his players are always willing to give everything they've got. He assured me all the coaches will treat the players like sons, and there's a lot of teaching going on there. The line coach that Ben will be working with, he's a family guy, and a very good teacher too.
The recruiting process is very much about relationships and it seems like all the past work that Brady Hoke has put in will soon start to pay off for him.
This is the first big visitor weekend for Michigan and I've already confirmed a few names. This was in the Weekly Update, but this will be the permanent home of the list as it gets updated with new names. Here's who I have so far.
- Kentucky QB Zeke Pike (6'5", 220 lbs): Pike had to reschedule the visit to next week. Offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, LSU, Michigan, Penn State, and USC among others.
- OL Chase Deback (6'8", 308 lbs) Michigan: Hoping for an offer from Michigan. Reporting no offers yet, but is gaining interest from local schools.
- LB Joe Bolden (6'2", 225 lbs) Ohio: Recently offered by Michigan. Other offers include Arizona, Illinois, North Carolina, NC State, Stanford, Tennessee, and West Virginia among others.
- OL Jonah Pirsig (6'9", 300 lbs) Minnesota: Also has a Michigan offer as well as Auburn, Illinois, Iowa, MSU, Ohio State, and Wisconsin among others.
- WR Aloyis Gray (6'3", 165 lbs) Indiana: Teammates with Pierre Aka, he's hoping to get an offer. Cincinnati, Illinois, and Purdue have offered.
- OL DeAndre Herron (6'6", 300 lbs) Indiana: Has offers from Louisville and Toledo, will probably have more soon.
- OL Daron Brown (6'5", 312 lbs) Michigan: Has been up to Michigan before, and is hoping for an offer. No offers yet for Daron, but is gaining interest from local schools.
- DB Wayne Morgan (5'11", 188 lbs) New York: Rutgers leads because he's familiar with their program. This visit could be big for Michigan. Offers from Alabama, U Conn, Miami, Penn State, Rutgers, and Syracuse among others.
- DB Allen Gant (6'1", 182 lbs) Ohio: Recently took a trip up to Ann Arbor and plans on camping this summer. Some offers include Boston College, Cincinnati, Stanford, and West Virginia.
- DE Mario Ojemudia (6'3", 215 lbs) Michigan: Plans on taking his time with his recruitment, has a Michigan offer.
- TE Devin Funchess (6'5", 205 lbs) MIchigan: Teammates with Ojemudia. TE Ron Thompson (6'4", 210 lbs) MIchigan: Very high on Michigan, plans on waiting a little while longer to make his decision.
- TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs) Ohio: He'll be up either Tuesday or Friday, he isn't sure of the date yet. Offers include Boston College, Illinois, Louisville, Michigan, MSU, NC State, and West Virginia.
- LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2", 215 lbs) Michigan: Said he wants to get back up to see them practice in pads.
- DE Alex Pace (6'2", 255 lbs) Glenville. Offers from Akron, Kent State, Ohio, Toledo, and Youngstown State.
- LB DeAndre Rollins (6'1", 215 lbs) Ohio: No offers yet.
- DB De'van Bogard (5'11", 172 lbs) Glenville: Reports an offer from USC, could be close to an Ohio State and a Michigan offer.
- DE Se'Von Pittman (6'4", 225 lbs) Ohio: Offers include Alabama, MSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, and Notre Dame.
- DE Chris Wormley (6'4", 255 lbs) Ohio: Confirmed that Chris will be up for this weekend. This will be big for Michigan to have Chris see what practice is like and to get more interaction with the new coaches.
- TE Matt Doneth (6'5", 235 lbs) Michigan: Has offers from CMU and WMU.
- TE Sam Grant (6'6", 238 lbs) Ohio: Has offers from Michigan, Boston College, Louisville, Syracuse, and Toledo. St. Edward teammates with Greg Kuhar and Tyler Orlosky.
- TE/OL Mark Harrell (6'5", 260 lbs) North Carolina: Offers from Michigan, Auburn, Clemson, Kentucky, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Virginia Tech among others.
- DT Greg Kuhar (6'3", 265 lbs) Ohio: Talking to his parents about making the trip. Michigan, Toledo, and West Virginia have offered.
- LB Vin Ascolese (6'2", 205 lbs) New Jersey: Not sure if he'll make it.
- RB Auctavius Bennett (5'7", 180 lbs) Maryland
- WR Monty Madaris (6'2", 175 lbs) Ohio: Not sure of his ride situation, but is trying to make it up. Offers include Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, MSU, and Nebraska.
- OL Sid Anvoots (6'4", 285 lbs) Indiana: He committed to Louisville on Friday.
- ATH David Perkins Indiana: He has to work
- TE Pierre Aka Indiana: Has a ride situation, isn't coming.