TomVH: OL Blake Bars Has a Top Five and a Timeline

Submitted by TomVH on June 22nd, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Nasvhille offensive lineman Blake Bars (6'5", 275 lbs, 4 star) took in Ann Arbor with his father this past weekend. Bars has been a fast rising commodity within the past few months, which he attributes to a late release to his highlight film. I spoke with Blake tonight to talk about his visit to Michigan and when he'll be making his college choice. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say.

TOM: Now that you've taken your trip to Michigan where are you at overall?

BLAKE: I just talked to Coach Smith tonight, and that went really well. We talked about me potentially going [to Michigan] as a player and he told me I was a priority for them. He was really real with me and he wasn't giving me any BS. He told me to talk everything over with my family and to let him know when I'm ready. 

TOM: With the Michigan visit do you feel more comfortable now talking to the coaches, like Coach Smith?

BLAKE: Definitely feel more comfortable that I went up there. We stayed up at Michigan on campus for six hours. I really got to know Coach Smith and Funk really well. I can really understand their philosophies. At the end of our visit all the coaches gathered in Coach Mattison's office and they were drilling me with questions about random easy going stuff. It was a fun and easy conversation, and that was something that really stuck out to me. How personable they were was really cool. 

TOM: What was it like to see the facilities and the Big House?

BLAKE: It was awesome to be in the Big House without the fans there. We stood on the 50 yard line, and I can imagine when it's filled with the fans it's amazing. It was really exciting just standing there.

TOM: Did you get a chance to meet any of the current players?

BLAKE: We did see a few players there. The starting left tackle and starting right guard. They basically said hello and welcomed us. That was pretty special.

TOM: You told me that your dad went up there with you and that he's from Michigan originally. What was his reaction?

BLAKE: Yeah, he grew up in Farmington Hills and his reaction was very positive. Although he went to Notre Dame, I think we shared some mutual agreement on liking Michigan. He told me my decision is up to me and we both got some positive feedback from Michigan.

TOM: I know you said last time that your aunt was recruiting you to Michigan with baked goods. Was she trying again while you were up there?

BLAKE: Yeah, we went up to my grandma's house and she lives in Trenton, but she introduced us to everyone with hey my grandson is going to check out Michigan. Then we went over to my uncle's house and he told me I have some good options but at Michigan I would have him to come watch my games. They're really supportive though, and I also have family by Penn State and in Nashville naturally.

TOM: Earlier you had said Coach Smith told you to take your time, does that mean you're close to deciding?

BLAKE: Yeah, I'm going to make my decision within the next week. We're going to sit down and evaluate each school on a different number of levels. Talk about how I would fit in, the level of football, and what it would do for me after football. We'll just go from there and then say where I want to go. We might be taking one more visit this weekend to either Boston College or Florida, but that's if my mom can find a good flight. After that we'll be done with visits.

TOM: You said evaluate each school, who are you evaluating? How many schools are left?

BLAKE: I'm really evaluating a top five of Michigan, Penn State, Florida, LSU, and Vanderbilt. We'll just lay out all those schools and what they have to offer.


Bluer than yue

June 22nd, 2011 at 9:23 PM ^

Sounds very positive for Michigan. Oline recruiingt is moving quickly, hopefully Kalis and Diamond get on board. Would like to have Bars too, there's too many option. Tom could you get a sense on where he is leaning?


June 22nd, 2011 at 9:21 PM ^

I could really be satisfied with pickups of Bars, Kalis, and Diamond to round out our o-line. For whatever reason, Blake seems like he connects with the program here, and will fit in well. Those three, with Magnuson, Stacey, and Braden, would be some pretty darn good building blocks for Darrell "The Man" (so says Erik Magnuson, so who am I to argue?) Funk to work with . . . 


June 22nd, 2011 at 9:34 PM ^

I had no idea until yesterday that potatoes cooked that way are "O'Brien", and I've certainly had them enough. I thought it was just American fries, or hash browns or whatever. Live and learn. And my wife thinks I waste time on this board - shows what she knows . . . 


June 22nd, 2011 at 10:00 PM ^

He said something like we should be ready for a "potato treat" to come our way. Apparently, when you pan fry potatoes with peppers and onions, you get potatoes "O'Brien", which would appear to be our encoded reference. I had to Google it myself, as did some others, but I think it is safe to say that the reference was to O'Brien committing, not Bars. Though I think we are looking solid with Bars as well . . . 


June 22nd, 2011 at 10:36 PM ^

I haven't met any of the coaches per se but I have been around them a bit.  Coach Funk and Coach Heck would stop by my spring class every so often to check on the players that were in there and they both seemed like really cool guys and just joked around a bit.


June 22nd, 2011 at 10:28 PM ^

Vanderbilt`s been cleaning up in recruiting this year (so much as a school like Vanderbilt can clean up). Given what they've been doing and seeing how he's from Tennessee, it isn't actually that big a stretch to see Vandy in that list.


June 22nd, 2011 at 9:42 PM ^

Getting really hard not to try to sway him to come here lol. im really pullin for him to come here.....he's got family and friends(including me) here to help support him.  Hopefully he goes Blue.


June 22nd, 2011 at 9:57 PM ^

I think our biggest competition for him is Penn State. PSU is  telling their OLine recruits there is only 2 spots left and it's first come first serve. That pushed away Chris Muller because he wasn't ready. We'll see if it works on Bars. I don't like that as soon as I'm hearing this he's saying he's about to announce. We'll see.

Blue Maize and…

June 23rd, 2011 at 10:12 AM ^

I will say it's a nice change of pace from the last few years to be genuinely surprised at the idea of Michigan losing a recruiting battle for a prospect we want. Seeing LSU and UF on a prospect's offer list seemed like the kiss of death eight months ago.


June 22nd, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

I really like Bars, for some reason.  He seems like a solid kid, great offer list.  We have a lot of competition.  I agree with someone above that it's probably between us and PSU as he has family in both areas.


June 22nd, 2011 at 10:45 PM ^

I see the last 3 OL spots being filled pretty quickly by Kalis, Bars and Diamond.  I agree the west coast guys will probably stay out West and it sounds like Thurston is leaning towards Nebraska.

True Blue in CO

June 22nd, 2011 at 11:10 PM ^

Bars, Kalis, and Diamond we should be able to attract some great RB's in the coming years as well as future OLine talent that will want to come and be part of our return to the Top Ten of college football. Congrats to the coaches for having these high quality kids excited about Michigan football.


June 22nd, 2011 at 11:49 PM ^

Having lived in Trenton, and having family all over the area ... it's going to be hard for him to pass on Michigan. The home cooking and the family following will hopefully sway him into Ann Arbor. Nothing like playing in the Big House!


June 23rd, 2011 at 2:04 AM ^

Really? I don't know what it is, but they are having a HUGE year recruiting. Much more success thus far into their 2012 class than they've had in the last 10 years altogether. I wonder...


June 23rd, 2011 at 8:35 AM ^

I would be excited to get this kid. Not the kind of talent you turn away because some top level talent way west of the Mississippi is expressing some interest. Taking him, assuming Diamond (knock on wood), that still gives the staff a final slot to hold open for the top dogs we have a shot at.


June 23rd, 2011 at 4:16 PM ^

Given where this recruiting class stands now, and all the high profile 4 and 5 stars leaning our way, and fleeing Ohio, how good could this class be?

Wormley, Washington, Kalis, Dunn, O'Brien, Pipkins, Wilson, Thompson, Bars, Diamond all seem to be showing sincere interest, if not listing Michigan as the favorite.

My question for the board is, if this train keeps on rolling are we looking at a top 3 class?

When was the last time Michigan had such a powerhouse class...I am guessing late 90s when Carr was on a roll.

T-town Wolv

June 23rd, 2011 at 5:00 PM ^

With his older brother at PSU, I expect a push from Joe Pa. Vanderbilt really can't be counted out on this one, but I don't see them being close to the 4 others on his top 5 at the time. Out of the top 4, I would assume Michigan and PSU are tops based on how close they are to family in the area. Florida and LSU are in the running because of football, but his parents are more concerned about schooling than anything else. All in all, it's between PSU and Michigan unless another high caliber school with academics and football steps in.

Sidenote: My knowledge of all this comes from being a close family friend since about kindergarden in Trenton. Even after they left for Tennessee, we kept in close contact.