The Wolverine

February 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  prep profiles Wolverines Among Top Three For 2013 Texas Tight End Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and his staff haven't spent a whole lot of time recruiting the state of Texas, choosing to work from the Midwest out. However, they found one class of 2013 prospect they like in Belton, Texas, tight end Durham Smythe, a former Texas pledge who opened his recruitment up recently. Baylor, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Texas A&M and others joined Notre Dame and Michigan in pursuing the 6-6, 230-pounder. The Wolverines quickly become one of three programs on his short list, joining the Irish and Stanford. The Cardinal already received a visit, while Notre Dame (Jan. 25) and Michigan (Feb. 1) are on tap. "The area I live is about 45 minutes away from Austin, so when you get the U‑T offer in this area, everyone around kind of expects you to go there," Smythe said, explaining he always wanted to go away for school. "I think that kind of had an impact on me for a while. "At the beginning I was excited, and that kind of started to wear off. As I continued to go down there and get a feel for it, I got the feeling that it wasn't really right for me." Oregon was the third school on Smythe's list before head coach Chip Kelly bolted for the NFL, leaving U‑M and Stanford out front. Michigan offered even before Texas, but Smythe didn't reciprocate the interest. That changed in December after a season in which he caught 22 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns. Offensive line coach Darrell Funk sold the aspiring pre-med major on the school's biology and medical programs, as well as the pro-style offense the Wolverines will be employing next year and in the future. Stanford, though, might be the leader in the   Durham Smythe ✪✪✪✪✪ Belton High School Belton, Texas Position: Tight End Ht.: 6-6 • Wt.: 230 40-yard Dash: 4.75 clubhouse. The Cardinal staff explained the void they have at tight end, and Smythe admitted being blown away by the area. Several criteria will be important in making his decision. "The thing that I primarily look for, first and foremost, is a place where it's a great university academically, while at the same time having a great football program," he said. "I think I've found that, especially in my three finalists, as far as a place that's a good school and also has a great football program. "Moving on from that, there are several smaller things that are factors — how they use the tight end and what's been their history with them … I'm interested in how I mesh with the coaching staff and their players. That's important, because that really determines how comfortable you'll be at that university over the next four years. "That's something that I think is pretty underrated: being somewhere that you'll truly be comfortable. Especially for me — I'm from Texas and my top three right now are all pretty far away. If I can find that place I really feel the most comfortable at, that'll really be another distinguishing factor." ranks Smythe as a three-star prospect, the No. 14 tight end nationally and the No. 47 player in Texas. — Chris Balas

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