The Wolverine

September 2018*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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56 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2018 BY BRANDON BROWN M ost Michigan fans want to for‑ get all about Rich Rodriguez's tenure at U‑M, but his BBQ at The Big House recruiting event survived through Brady Hoke's four‑year stint and is still one of Michigan's biggest recruiting events of the calendar year with Jim Harbaugh preparing for his fourth campaign. This year more than 50 prospects from the 2019, 2020, 2021 and even the 2022 classes converged on Ann Arbor for a day of football, food and fellowship. Prospects and their families paid $20 to hang out around Schembechler Hall, eat some BBQ and get to know the coaches. Adding to the day's excitement was a unique event that took ad‑ vantage of Michigan Stadium's massive seating chart. Even though Michigan's first home football game was more than a month off when the July 28 event was taking place, Ann Arbor was buzzing because of the International Champions Cup soccer match between Manchester United and Liverpool later that day. A whopping 101,254 fans showed up for the game, creating a game‑day vibe around Ann Arbor and giving visitors a small taste of what life is like at The Big House on a football Saturday. The visitors all left Ann Arbor feel‑ ing full and excited about what they experienced while on campus and around the staff and current Michi‑ gan football players. Commits, targets and hopeful prospects grinding to pick up an of‑ fer from the Wolverines chimed in and expressed their pleasure in what they experienced at the BBQ. COMMITS BOND At the time of the BBQ, Michigan had 18 commitments in the 2019 class and three in the 2020 class. Eleven of the rising seniors made their way to Ann Arbor, while two of the rising ju‑ niors spent time around their future coaches and teammates on the per‑ fect summer Saturday in the Great Lakes State. From the 2019 class, Fairfield (Ohio) High three‑star tight end Er‑ ick All, Paw Paw (Mich.) High three‑ star offensive tackle Karsen Barnhart, Cincinnati Moeller three‑star offen‑ sive guard Zach Carpenter, Wash‑ ington (D.C.) St. John's College High three‑star safety Quinten Johnson, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson three‑star offensive guard Trente Jones, Reno (Nev.) Damonte Ranch four‑star pro‑ style quarterback Cade McNamara, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont three‑star weakside defensive end Gabe New‑ burg, Akron (Ohio) Hoban four‑star offensive guard Nolan Rumler, New Canaan (Conn.) High three‑star of‑ fensive tackle Jack Stewart, Braden‑ ton (Fla.) IMG Academy three‑star cornerback DJ Turner II and Colum‑ bus (Ohio) St. Francis DeSales three‑ star safety Joey Velazquez were all in attendance. Belleville (Mich.) High three‑star cornerback Andre Seldon and Au‑ rora (Ill.) West Aurora four‑star de‑ fensive tackle Denver Warren were also in Ann Arbor representing the 2020 class. All five of the committed 2019 line‑ men were in attendance. The group posed for pictures with each other, ate a lot of food together and bonded well with offensive line coach Ed Warinner. Jones has one of the more interest‑ ing personalities in the group and broke down what the day felt like as a member of the class. "This visit was about me and the committed boys bonding," Jones said. "We talked about all the people on campus and the restaurants. We ate together at the BBQ. "Our bond is solid. It feels like it was sort of meant to be. It's like we knew it was going to happen this way." Jones, the No. 17 offensive guard in the nation according to, checks in at 6‑5, 293 pounds and cer‑ tainly put down his share of food during the BBQ. Five offensive linemen attacking a pile of food must've been a sight to see, and McNamara loved it. He got to spend time with around 1,500 pounds of what will eventually be his personal protection unit. The four‑star quarterback loved lining up behind his guys for a picture and can't wait until they're all on campus together. "It's super cool how close we al‑ ready are," McNamara said. "It's huge for all the big boys up front and the QB to have a good connec‑ tion. All of them are great guys with funny personalities. FOOTBALL RECRUITING Summer Cookout Continues To Be A Draw Michigan commitment Cade McNamara, the No. 1 plater in Nevada and the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the nation according to, was among the 11 2019 pledges that vis- ited for the BBQ at The Big House. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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