The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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������ football recruiting Recruiting Players From ��� The Same High School H By Tim Sullivan igh school teammates choosing to attend school together at the next level is nothing new in the world of college recruiting. In 1988, former U-M head coach Bo Schembechler recruited a pair of prospects out of Cleveland St. Joseph High School, landing both. Desmond Howard was an All-American running back thought to be too small to play the position in the Big Ten, but he could possibly shift to wide receiver when he arrived at Michigan. His teammate, however, was a little bit more obscure. ���People were surprised he was even recruited to Michigan,��� Howard said. A little-known quarterback by the name of Elvis Grbac joined his highly touted teammate in Ann Arbor, and it���s fair to say that both players ultimately made the best decision ��� and that Michigan made a great choice to recruit Howard���s teammate. Howard moved to wide receiver and won the Heisman Trophy in 1991. Grbac had a productive career in Ann Arbor before moving on to the NFL. Howard and Grbac formed a prolific combination at the college level. Despite playing in an era when passing was often eschewed in favor of the run, Howard posted 2,146 career receiving yards, a total which still ranks 10th on Michigan���s all-time list, and Grbac is third in career passing yards with 6,460. The pair was a ���package deal��� that worked out best for all the parties involved. Howard and Grbac, however, aren���t the only high school teammates to play for the Wolverines. Pursuing teammates from the same high school is a common and often successful strategy in recruiting. On The Team U-M has several sets of high school teammates on the 2011 roster. They come from all over the country, including Texas, Arizona, Florida and of course Michigan and 88��� the wolverine��� ������ November 2011 From left to right, Martavious Odoms, Brandin Hawthorne and Vincent Smith all came to U-M from Pahokee (Fla.) High. photo by amir gamzu/wolverine photo Ohio. Though playing with high school friends probably wasn���t the key consideration for many of them, it played a role in some of their decisions. Four current Wolverines hail from Pahokee, Fla. Slot receiver Martavious Odoms was a member of the 2008 recruiting class, running back Vincent Smith and linebacker Brandin Hawthorne were in the 2009 crop, and defensive tackle Richard Ash followed his former teammates in the next class. ���I knew Martavious wasn���t going to steer me in the wrong direction,��� Smith said, ���He had a great influence on me coming to Michigan.��� Just a year after Hawthorne and Smith enrolled at Michigan, Ash joined them in Ann Arbor. ���They didn���t really pressure me to come here,��� Ash said. ���They were just telling me that it���s a good place. I looked into it, and I thought it was a good place. That���s why I decided to come here.��� Their presence in Ann Arbor helped convince the 2010 four-star prospect to give Michigan a chance in the first place. Once Ash took a visit to the school, they helped establish a comfortable feeling away from home, one of the reasons he ultimately picked Michigan. ���That helps ��� whenever I get homesick, I can come back and talk to them,��� Ash said. ���It can comfort me and make me not miss home so badly.��� Redshirt junior wide receiver Roy Roundtree switched his commitment from Purdue to U-M shortly before National Signing Day in 2008, and the comfort of playing with his friends, running back Michael Shaw and tight end Brandon Moore, both who were also in the class, was important to him. ���That had a lot of influence on me,��� Roundtree said. ���We all grew up together. Shaw and I have been best friends since we were younger. To see them commit here, I had no

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