any read from you on how our chances look here Tom?
Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
Colorado offensive lineman Paul Thurston decided to take a trip out to Ann Arbor on Monday with his father. The 6-foot-5, 274-pound lineman took in Michigan's campus for the first time and told me about how the trip went. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say.
TOM: You're from Colorado, so it's not like this was a two hour car ride for you. What made you decide to visit Michigan so early?
PAUL: Well, we went up Monday and just got back today. I know Michigan, they're a big time program and the scholarship offers aren't going to be around forever. I thought it would be best to get over there and when things heat up I'll have already seen them and know what they're about.
TOM: You said when things start heating up. Does that mean you have a timeline for when you want to decide?
PAUL: Yeah, I'd like to do it before the season or during the season. So probably around July, August, or September is when I'll make my decision.
TOM: What did you know about Michigan before this visit, or what made you so interested in them?
PAUL: Probably the big time tradition they have there. These coaches I'm sure they'll get back to that again. When I got the offer it was definitely a place I was interested in.
TOM: Ok, so tell me about the trip then. What all did you get to see?
PAUL: It was my first time in Ann Arbor, and when we got there we went to the athletic complex. I met all the coaches, talked with Coach Hoke, talked with Coach Funk, and took a tour of the facilities. The next morning we got a tour of campus, saw the academic center, and we saw the Big House. That was pretty crazy. Then after that we talked to Coach Hoke again.
TOM: The Big House was crazy? How did it compare to other schools you've seen so far?
PAUL: Yeah, the Big House was crazy. You go to a place like Nebraska and they have a pretty big stadium, but then you walk on that field in the Big House and that place is huge. I was in there talking with some of the coaches about what it's like on gameday with all the fans.
TOM: You mentioned talking to the coaches, what were they talking to you about?
PAUL: They were telling me where I'd be playing, where I'd fit in, and where they stand. Talking with Coach Hoke he was able to tell me some things about the program, chat, and just get to know me.
TOM: Where did they tell you that they want you to play? Tackle or guard?
PAUL: Coach Funk said I'll probably go in and play left tackle. If I can play there, then good, if not then they might move me to guard or right tackle.
TOM: Your dad went with you on the trip, how did he feel about it?
PAUL: He really liked it. He said it's definitely a top place and a good place to go.
TOM: We talked about your timeline, but do you have any leaders at this point, or does anyone stick out to you so far?
PAUL: No, I don't really have any leaders yet. I'm coming back from all these visits and trying to get everything on paper. I think I'll take a couple more visits, I'm not sure where yet, but it's coming together slowly. We'll see who starts talking to me.
TOM: What are the most important aspects for you when you're evaluating a school?
PAUL: Some of the big things for me are a good weight program, if they can get me ready and get me ready to compete. If I like the coaches and my position coach, and how long the coaching staff will be there.
TOM: After this visit how do you think Michigan stands for you?
PAUL: They definitely fit all three things I'm looking for. I talked to the weight coach and he has everything I'm looking for. They were telling me that they don't plan on going anywhere either.
TOM: Was there anything that stuck out to you on the visit, or anything unique?
PAUL: Well, I actually got a call that I was selected to play in one of All American games while I was in Ann Arbor, so that's something I'll remember.
any read from you on how our chances look here Tom?
Sounds good. I'll take him!
Early commits are paying dividends. This kid has great feet and really man handles the defense once he engages. Was going to say he needs a little work on his punch but then at the 2:50 mark he seemed to have it going pretty well for himself. We still need some OT's in this class and Thurston looks like a great one.
Noticed 2 things from the video: 1) he's relentless! He keeps driving all the way to the whistle. And 2) he looks pretty quick when he's pulling. Looks great!
that he came here for a visit all the way from Colorado I would say that he doesn't sound very interested. When you read what some of the other recruits say to Tom during these interviews, you get the sense that he is not nearly as excited about Michigan as some of the other have been.
Maybe I am reading too much between the lines. What is your impression of our chances, Tom?
Also, I find it interesting that head coaches (Coach Hoke) don't seem to spend an inordinate amount of time with the recruits. I'm not saying that they are doing anything wrong (see 2012 recruiting results!), but I guess I always imagined that the head coaches spent a lot of time with the recruits when they came for visits.
Instead of reading between the lines read what was written. He visited all of the way from Colorado on his own dime. This was done so he could get a first hand look at Michigan in order to make a faster decision should the scholarships start drying up. In my opinion this was a wise move by this young man. Not your fault though, we all are getting a little spoiled around here lately. Kind of nice.
In his Rivals 250 piece, Tom says, "I think Michigan has a very good chance" with Thurston.
Colorado is a factory for lineman, Nate Solder just went in the first round and he's from Buena Vista I believe. Hopefully we can pull Callahan and this kid.
Interesting note is that Nate Solder was a 6'8" tight end according to rivals. I'm starting to think the coaches offered AJ Williams because he has lots of versatility.
I know Michigan, they're a big time program and the scholarship offers aren't going to be around forever.
This jumped off the page for me. Things are looking rather sunny around here these days.
Did anything stand out?
Rather than say, "Yeah, Coach Hoke seems very genuine. He definitely made a big impression on me," he says he got a phone call.
Again, maybe I'm becoming spoiled, but I want these kids to tell me how much they love Michigan and our coaches whenever they get the chance. When I hear that, then I know a "Hello" post is coming soon!
Could be he was just trying to brag a bit. Getting invited to an all-american game is pretty exciting. But still, I would have wished he said something more UM oriented.
The thing that came to my mind was when Joe Bolden said that a key to him choosing UM was his dad getting online and someone posting at that moment how legit GMat is. While his memory didn't scream that michigan made a huge impact on Thurston, it did keep a very positive thought in his head with the visit. When he does make his decision, that thought could become a sign to him that UM is where he needs to be.
or other offensive lineman, his recruiting shows how we are reaching out across the country to fill the rest of this class. The interest alone will pay dividends with future out of state recruits. On his film, it is great to see how he keeps pushing defenders down the field. Love the pancake block on the DB at 2:48.
Didn't you get that memo? We can't recruit nationally anymore. That's Dantonio's thing.
It's very encouraging in and of itself to hear that any out of state recruit took an unofficial to visit the school. Unless the kid is disturbingly privileged, I'd say we're near the top of his preliminary list.
Man, our ideas of disturbingly priviledged must be miles apart...
Well, if his parents have had a college fund set up for him, but now he's going to get free D1 education.... they've got cash for plane tickets
That's not disturbingly priviledged by my definition
But when you're sharing a car with your mom because yours broke down, and gas is $4.19 at the station around the corner, and you haven't been out of the state in three years, then everybody crossing state lines seems disturbingly privileged.
Doesn't take away from the other 35 words in my post. Unless he takes several unofficials, one would think that we're a reasonable priority of his.
Well, I actually got a call that I was selected to play in one of All American games while I was in Ann Arbor
Looks athletic and has a good motor! How is his offer sheet looking at this point Tom?
Nebraska, Oregon, Notre Dame, Stanford, MICHIGAN
Why are we lusting after someone with such an unimpressive offer sheet?
Wow, I would be psyched to start beating these teams in recruiting battles again.
Great feet, the kid can move! Its nice seeing a lineman get up the field like that. You'd like to see him a bit bigger, but another year in the weight room at the high school level and a redshirt year will see to that, no problem. Thurston looks like another great option for our OL.
I would love to see this kid plowing the field down in Maize and Blue. Come on down Paul, you know that some of the great lineman in the NFL came out of AA, follow that great tradition!
Including the only O lineman picked first overall.
You're the school we all adore.
Here is where we get much more.
Oh you're the best old school in Ann Arbor town.
The kids and the staff are the best around.
You're the school we all adore.
You better believe it.
You're the school we all adore. Yeah
somebody get this kid a sweet deal on a 1-year used car, a bag o cash, perhaps some jewelry to sell and a hooker! What? It seems to have worked for a solid decade for OSU.
Knew the tune as soon as I saw the words. Great anthem and better playground; the education was 1st rate too - though all I remember was recess. Thanks for rekindling my memories.
...about our S&C coach, Wellman. What little I know about him gives me the heebie jeebies.
This is awesome to see the kid considering going blue. I might have to make the 20 minute drive and check out a game.
Sign em up
If we're looking at that 5-6 OL class, we've got some ways to go. I'd love it if this kid were our #3.