Michigan's latest commitment is about as Harbaugh as it gets. Ben VanSumeren, from the town of Essexville, Michigan, is not your normal high school prospect to get the "athlete" distinction; he's a fullback/linebacker-type athlete instead of the usual quarterback/receiver or receiver/cornerback.
That said, don't sleep on his athleticism. As you can see above, VanSumeren posted an excellent SPARQ score at this spring's Opening Cleveland regional, which eventually led to offers one doesn't usually field in Essexville. Initially ticketed for Western Michigan before committing to Iowa as a linebacker, VanSumeren fielded a phone call from Jay Harbaugh last week, and after an official visit he flipped his commitment to his childhood favorites:
"It was tough," VanSumeren admitted. "I have lots of respect for Coach Ferentz and their whole football staff there. Michigan is the only school that, if they came calling, could have drawn me away from what I had at Iowa."
A multi-talented athlete who was committed to the Hawkeyes as a linebacker, VanSumeren says the plan at Michigan is to "use me at fullback position and use me as an H sometimes. They said I can be in the passing game and run game, catch balls, and get in space hopefully."
VanSumeren is the 11th-ranked player in the state according to the 247 Composite. He's the 17th commit in Michigan's 2018 class, which ranks 12th nationally.
|3*, #37 ATH||3*, 78, #52 ATH||
3*, 86, #54 ATH,
3*, #49 ATH,
Each of the three major services has VanSumeren as a three-star with a fair amount of ground to cover before reaching four-star status, not exactly a surprise for a FB/LB playing small-school competition. If 247 changed his position designation to fullback, he'd be the #1 player at the position in the composite rankings.
VanSumeren measured in at 6'3", 215 pounds in April at the Cleveland Opening regional. It's quite possible he's added some bulk since then: 247 lists him at 228 pounds, Rivals at 235. 247 lists VanSumeren as an early enrollee; given he'll have a chance to contribute right away, that's a good plan, and he should be properly fullback-sized by the fall—he could be pretty close already.
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