TomVH: Visit Reaction From QB Zeke Pike

Submitted by TomVH on March 29th, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Kentucky QB Zeke Pike (6'5", 220 lbs) made his way up to Ann Arbor today [Tuesday] with his dad. They got a chance to meet the coaches and check out practice. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say about the visit.

TOM: What did you get to see when you first got there?

ZEKE: We kind of met everybody and got familiar with the faces. We sat down with Coach Borges and talked football. We talked about where I fit in to the program and just talked about life. We just kind of got to know each other. 

TOM: Did you get a chance to sit down with the other coaches too?

ZEKE: Yeah, Coach Singletary was with me a lot. We talked to Coach Hoke for about an hour. We talked about a little of everything. They told me I was the number one guy on their chart and that intrigued me. Then we went on a tour of the Big House, which was pretty awesome. Playing in front of 120,000 people every week is amazing.

TOM: Did you take in practice after that?

ZEKE: Yeah, I think right now they're trying to use the spread offense because of the quarterbacks they have. They're trying to gradually get to the pro style offense. Those are spread quarterbacks so it makes the position a lot more intriguing and the school a lot more intriguing because they need that true pro style quarterback.

TOM: You say it's intriguing, do you almost view it as a challenge to be that quarterback that gets Michigan back to the top? Or in a different way?

ZEKE: I think the coaches they have are the perfect coaches to get Michigan back to Michigan. I think Coach Hoke is doing a very good job with bringing tradition back. There was so much fire, intensity, and energy at practice. It just looks like there's a lot of competition on the field and you need that to be great. I think the right coaches are in place and that's exciting. I think it's a great opportunity to be that next guy at Michigan. It's a program on a national stage, when you say Michigan football people turn their heads. I'm excited to continue to build the relationships.

TOM: I know it's hard to see everything on one trip, but did you get a good feel for the coaches as people and how they coach?

ZEKE: I really enjoyed my time and I got a really good feel for them; I liked it a lot. It's definitely a school that will be there for me down the wire. It was just a feel that I got, it's hard to explain. There's only been a couple other places that I got that feeling and Michigan was one of those places.

TOM: You said Michigan will be there down to the wire, when are you going to be making your decision? Do you have a timeline?

ZEKE: I'm going out to Arkansas this weekend and I'm going to Tennessee, Georgia, FSU, Clemson, and Auburn over spring break. After that I'll narrow it down to a top five or so. I'll probably make my decision in the next couple months. I'm just going to be looking for the it factor, is it going to be somewhere I want to go for the next four years even outside of football.

TOM: With regards to Michigan, did this visit help them?

ZEKE: Yeah, it definitely helped Michigan. I'm really close friends with Chris Barnett who signed with Michigan in the 2011 class. We're really good friends and he stays on me about going to Michigan. It's a school that intrigues me and has a lot of tradition. Year in and year out they compete with everybody. I'm anxious to continue the relationships there and see where it goes.



March 29th, 2011 at 10:38 PM ^

He says intrigues a lot...I'm intrigued as to what that means...

Also he doesn't really strike me as a true "pro-style" QB.  Didn't he rush for like 900 yards his junior year as well?  I, personally, think that this is a deffinate advantage.  I hope we contine to recruit QB's who can move and keep elements of that type of spread in the offense.  It will only make us more dangerous.

Blue in Seattle

March 29th, 2011 at 10:52 PM ^

My guess, based on no evidence, is that "pro-style" has become a code word for the approach of this coaching staff to make sure they are developing people for the NFL.  A recruit of this caliber is going to have a high priority on looking for a program that can get them to the next level.

So in my hypothetical, Mattison is bringing value to more than just the defense with his status and connections in the NFL.

key points brought up by Zeke, Michigan plays a lot of big names, I'm in front of 120,000 people. saying "Michigan" turns heads, etc.

watching Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl, sure he didn't have any designed runs, but when his receivers were covered, he could take off and dash for quite a bit of yardage, and also has the mass stay on his feet when the pocket is collapsing.  I don't remember this year's Super Bowl being boring, and continuing to have QB's at Michigan who can throw and run is not only exciting but is the new "pro-style" QB.  Brady and Manning are the Dinosaurs.  Exciting Dinosaurs, but still the style on the downward trend.



March 30th, 2011 at 5:01 AM ^

I completely agree.  I mean, he's no Denard (and I don't think we're likely to see another Denard unless things in Ann Arbor change drastically at some point in the future), but I really like having a QB who can scramble when necessary (and do so effectively).  From Pike's highlights and stats, it seems that he can do just that as the situation demands.  I don't really care whether we get a "pro" guy (Pike) or a "spread" guy (Mauk) so long as whoever it is can pull off both elements adequately.


All that said, this year I'm Fred Jacksoning it up and hoping that Denard = Mike Vick.


March 29th, 2011 at 11:07 PM ^

Two top quarterbacks who committed to the same school. Same goes for Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford. Mallett's situation is one example but there are examples of the same school gaining multiple QBs in one class. I've just heard so many people say we won't get any top guy based on competition yet there's evidence to the contrary. I'll agree that it's a possibility but some people (not you) have spoken as if it's an absolute.


March 30th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

Yeah, there is actually much more evidence in favor of Magnus here, IMO.  The Wittek and Kessler this is different - both kids are from southern California (it's possible they're both USC fans) and USC is THE school when it comes to elite pro-style QB's, especially over the last 10 years. 

However, I'm not sure our depth chart is so strong that it would deter a good QB from coming - he would essentially have to compete with one guy (Gardner) beyond his freshman year.  You're not going to get it much better than that at another big time program.


March 30th, 2011 at 6:14 PM ^

It would be great if someone reminded Pike about that and advises him to pick a school based on more than the depth chart. It has to be very difficult for these kids to filter out all the noise - hopefully he has someone close to him that can help him look at the big picture (and that picture includes Michigan).

Lloyd Christmas

March 29th, 2011 at 10:40 PM ^

Really hope we get this kid!! Great highlight tape on both sides of the ball. Reminds me a little bit  of Tate, always looking down field even when scrambling. Great arm and really puts the ball in there for the receivers to make plays!! Thanks Tom!!!


March 29th, 2011 at 10:44 PM ^

idk, his footwork is kinda wack but other than that he looks solid. Our Depth at QB will keep us from landig him. Devin was the best QB coming out of highschool, the guy is a monster and denard still has another two years...i just doubt we'll be able to land him


March 30th, 2011 at 6:05 PM ^

Michigan doesn't have enough depth at QB to scare a top level recruit away. Consider that a year ago many were expecting Tate Forcier to continue to progress and lock up the starting job as QB (while being pushed by Denard and more so by Devin). Plenty of people thought those that suggested Denard could become the starter were nuts.....the point is that things can change quickly.


March 29th, 2011 at 10:53 PM ^

My five year old son, who is named Zeke, asks me whether Zeke Pike is going to Michigan at least twice per week.  It will be like there is no Santa if I have to tell him Pike goes somewhere else.  Plus, he needs another Zeke to root for besides Zeke Motta (it truly makes me ill).

no joke its hoke

March 29th, 2011 at 11:40 PM ^

Him and Fuller are the two qb's I want the most but I have a hard time believing we will be the team either one picks. I think Zeke will want a place he has a chance to start at after a year and Fuller knows we are trying to get aaway from the spread.


March 29th, 2011 at 11:45 PM ^

Man, a couple really interesting misc. tidbits in here that have been hot topics recently....

1.  He says flat out that we're still running the spread.  He doesn't state that we're using spread concepts in Borges' regular offense (although that's probably closer to what's actually happening) but says we're running the spread which leads me to believe that the "Manball" stuff really is just coach speak as Brian's recent post suggests.  Anyhow, this gave me some real cause for optimism. 

2.  His comments on Hoke's emphasis on "tradition"..  Guess it really is a positive in the mind of recruits. Good stuff.


March 30th, 2011 at 6:34 AM ^

It's not one or the other.  I suggest you watch some film from last year's SDSU team.  They run power, play action off it, and they spread it out.  There are certainly going to be elements of m****** (I'm growing sick of that word), but there are certainly going to be elements of the spread, too.