Hockey pet peeve: "when a teammate tips a puck in on you, which is exactly how my first collegiate goal against happened. Thanks, Copper."
I asked him how it compared to his other visits, and he said, "It wasn't the same, but it was the same excitement being around a college atmosphere. I mean, it's the University of Michigan. The tradition there is so much greater than any other school. (laughs) The Big House, there's no comparison to any other school, or stadium. That was the icing on the cake. Walking down that tunnel; I got chills. I wanted to put my pads on right there. Walking on that grass, there's been so many great players to play on that field."
One of the most important things for Brandon was to get to know the coaches better, and get a feel for them. Although the Big House was overwhelming, it seems like the coaches were the best part. "I had a good connection with all of them, I liked them a lot. They were really straight forward, and that was cool. I'm pretty laid back, so I liked that. The best part of the whole visit was talking with coach Rodriguez. He was just so laid back, and he really made me feel like he wanted to get to know me as a person. Most coaches talk about their program, and football. He made me feel like I was his friend, and he cared about what I liked. It was just a normal guy, that was talking to me about football and life. There was no big spotlight, or big ceremony, it was just real," he told me.
Besides Rodriguez, the coach that caught Ifill's attention the most was, of course, Mike Barwis. "(laughing) That guy, wow. I spent most of my time with him. From what I've heard, and what I've seen, he's the best. His whole philosophy is incredible. He's somebody that can motivate you to be the best, and pull the best out of you. Just to see him that fired up about what he does is great. I've never met anyone like him before," said Ifill.
Brandon spoke to Cullen Christian, his teammate, about the visit, and expressed his excitement about everything he saw. The only thing in the way of a commitment now seems to be time. Brandon said, "I'm just waiting to build a better relationship with the coaches. I want to talk to them more, and get more comfortable with them. Everything was great, so I just want to see how that relationship gets built."
I just spoke with his coach, Jay Minton, and it looks like Terry will be visiting Michigan on Wednesday, the 29th. It sounded like this wasn't set in stone yet, but is looking like a strong possibility. Talbott is 6'4 270 pounds, and plays both defensive tackle and offensive tackle. He's also ranked by Rivals as a......3 star!!!!! If Michigan could add a defensive tackle to this years class, it would definitely be a bonus.
As you can see the Michigan coaches have been really focusing on the defensive side of the ball, with regards to recruiting. It looks like we're all done for offense, unless any oth bigger names want to come aboard. With Talbott visiting this Wednesday, Brandon Ifill coming in this weekend, Latwan Anderson now looking to make another trip up, and Josh Furman planning on taking an official visit. These are just some of the more recent happenings with defensive players.
I'll keep you updated on Talbott's potential visit, and I should have more from him soon.
EDIT: Here's a quote from his coach on his strengths and weaknesses.
"As for Terry, his strength is his ability to use his explosiveness to get off the ball and change direction. He is very strong upper body and his core is strong. He, like a lot of High School players need to better define his technique. He has good technique now, but to play at the next level and be successful his technique must be great. He uses his hands well now, but needs to always work on using them better." - Jay Minton
Lo Wood will be choosing his college of choice next month, if all goes to plan. His recruitment has been up and down lately, after what seemed to be a big Michigan lean. The recruiting ride took a sharp turn after Lo took a visit to Notre Dame's spring game.
He came back from the trip ranting and raving about the experience, and declared that Notre Dame was tied with Michigan. It seems that somewhere along the way the Fighting Irish have taken over the lead. This isn't a done deal, and as I said, it has been a roller coaster decision. If Lo was choosing now, it seems he would pick Notre Dame.
I fully expect the full court press to be put on by the Michigan coaches, which could result in our favor. Lo Senior's relationship with former Notre Dame players have played a role, as well as the Irish coaching staff. Several recruits have told me that it doesn't look good with Lo. They were quick to retort with a few names they are confident with, that would definitely make the fans happy. Rashad Knight was one name that came up, and it seems to look good for now.
As I said, and as we have all seen, anything can happen. This isn't over yet, but it looks like Notre Dame may have the advantage. Stay tuned...
Travis Williams recently took a visit up to Ann Arbor, and decided that would be the last place he needed to look. Williams is a cornerback/athlete from Florida, and saw nothing but good things at U of M. Here's what he had to say about his recent commitment.
TOM: So are you officially committed, or just high on Michigan?
TRAVIS: I'm committed. I talked to Coach Rodriguez today, and told him the news. They just told me to call him back after the Spring. He wants me to make sure that I made the right decision, and not make a bad move.
TOM: So what was the final aspect that made you make your choice?
TRAVIS: Just everything really. It was just incredible. The Big House, the locker room, and the practice facility. It was just amazing. Once I saw all that, it just put me over the edge.
TOM: Where did they say they see you playing? I recently saw on Scout that you run a 4.9 40, is that accurate?
TRAVIS: They want to use me as a cornerback. They like my stride, and my overall speed. I need to talk to those guys, because that is definitely not right. I ran a 4.49, a 4.56, and a 4.7 at all the combines. The 4.7 was when I was injured too. So, that's definitely not right.
TOM: What's the time table look like? When will this be officially official?
TRAVIS: I'm not really looking at any other schools. I'm just going to wait until after Spring, and then call Coach Rodriguez. They had three kids decommit last year, so they don't want that to happen again.
Lo Wood, a teammate of Michigan commit Jeremy Gallon, is a cornerback prospect from the 2010 class who recently received an offer from Michigan. Now that his junior year is over, Lo has been working hard on improving for next year, working out 3 days a week, 4 hours a day on Saturdays. Michigan is high on Wood, and he's high on Michigan as well.
First some highlights, then the interview.
TOM: How did your junior year go, compared to how you wanted it to go?
LO: I did well. It was way better than my sophomore year. I improved on a lot of areas, and that’s really what I wanted to happen.
TOM: How do you think you did at the combine?
LO: I did well at the Army combine. I went against some new kids, so it was good to see how I would do against them.
TOM: Did you get a chance to meet anyone new, any recruits you've kept in contact with?
LO: Chris Beckman, the receiver. I talk to him, but that’s about it for new people.
TOM: I know you're already good friends with Ricardo Miller (2010 Michigan commit), what has he been saying to you?
LO: He’s just saying I need to hurry up and commit, and how much he loves Michigan. He’s been trying hard.
TOM: You're also teammates with current Michigan commit Jeremy Gallon, has he been talking to you at all about the process?
LO: No, Jeremy’s kind of quiet. He said they need more Florida kids at Michigan. I guess everyone in Florida is talking about Michigan, since they’re going there.
TOM: Who do you currently hold offers from?
LO: Michigan, Georgia Tech, FIU, Stanford, and Duke.
TOM: Do you have a leader right now?
LO: My leader is Michigan.
TOM: I know your family is involved in the process, what do they think, or say you should do?
LO: They just tell me to make sure it’s the right choice for me, they’re just letting me do the process myself. My dad does certain things for me so I can focus on school.
TOM: Do you have a timeline for how you see your recruitment going? Some guys like to wait; others just get it out of the way.
LO: We’re going to sit down and figure it out. We’re still waiting; we’re kind of waiting to see what happens at signing day, and make our decision from there.
TOM: What's your next step? Have you planned any visits yet?
LO: Sit back and relax for awhile, then we’re talking about taking some visits. Michigan will get a visit, we’re just not sure when yet.
TOM: What schools have you already seen, and what was the most impressive part of any of them?
LO: Florida, Georgia, and Michigan too. Michigan, just the atmosphere, the stadium, and the fans. I really liked how everyone knew who I was.
TOM: Describe what kind of player you are, what are you good at, and what do you need to improve on?
LO: I’m going to improve on tackling better, doing basic things, and little things in my coverage. I’m best at playing man to man coverage, and jamming.
TOM: What do you think about Greg Robinson becoming the new Defensive Coordinator?
LO: It’s great to hear that a good DC is coming. It sounds like he’s got great experience, and the fact that he’s won Super Bowls is pretty cool.
With cornerback as a big concern, and only a few weeks left in this class, the Wolverines start to look to the juniors for help. Lo Wood was just offered by Michigan, and we will hear from him soon. Another name that we will start to hear from is Penn Hills Cullen Christian. He's 6'1 180 pounds, and already has an offer from U of M. Christian is teammates with LB Dan Mason from this years class, and junior WR Brandon Ifill, who is also a Michigan prospect. Here's one of his highlight videos, and what he had to say about his recruitment.
TOM: You were just at the Junior Combine, how did that go?
CULLEN: It was good, a good experience. I did pretty good. The goal was just to do the best I could do in the 1 on 1’s, since it’s the wide receivers advantage. My name was on the list for good performers, so I feel like I did well.
TOM: Did you meet any other recruits that you’ll keep in touch with?
CULLEN: I met so many people, too many to name. It was good to meet a lot of the other recruits.
TOM: You’re teammates with Brandon Ifill and Dan Mason, has Dan’s recruitment helped you guys at all?
CULLEN: Yea he definitely showed us a couple things. There’s a lot of coaches that talk to Dan, and he has put in good words for us.
TOM: What schools do you think Dan Mason likes right now?
CULLEN: Top schools are WVU, Penn State, BC, and Pitt.
TOM: Will you and Brandon be a package deal, or are you looking at different schools?
CULLEN: We’re not going out of our way to go to same, but if something happens it happens. Most of the schools are looking at both of us.
TOM: Do you have any favorites to start, I know they usually change, but who sticks out right now?
CULLEN: Michigan, Pitt, Maryland. I was just offered by Maryland, so those are all my offers too.
TOM: Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit? Or any schools you know you’ll definitely visit for a game?
CULLEN: There’s not really a school I’ve always wanted to visit; growing up I always liked Michigan. I was supposed to go on the 15th, but there’s a track meet so I’m going to reschedule. I really like them.
TOM: What camps do you plan on going to, or have you been to?
CULLEN: Scouts camp, Penn State, Adidas. I’m not sure about team camps yet.
TOM: How do you see your recruitment going? A lot of guys commit real quick, and some take their time, what will you do?
CULLEN: I’m going to take my time; I’m going to take all 5 visits. I don’t want to go through any decommits or anything, when I commit there will be no second guessing.
TOM: What are you looking for in a school? Do you look at early playing time, coaches, tradition?
CULLEN: I want early playing time, a school that has good tradition, the academics. That’s basically what I want to go to college for. The most important are playing time and academics. I don’t want to have to wait all the way to senior year.
TOM: Describe what kind of player you are, and what you bring to a college team.
CULLEN: I’m a real physical corner, I can watch bigger receivers, I won’t get out jumped, and I won’t get out ran. I can run with the quick ones and tackle the big ones. Especially if I went to Michigan, you need to know how to tackle in the Big Ten.