The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 46 of 99

2020 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE and athletics was at the top of the priority list. "Definitely academics," Persi Sr. said when asked what really won the family over. "Jeff has always gotten good grades and had his priorities in line. He knew what he wanted in a college. Academics were always num- ber one and then it was football." With his paperwork finalized, Persi is looking forward to arriving in Ann Arbor this summer. The 6-7, 275-pounder is a towering tackle with one of the biggest ceilings of the cycle. However, Persi under- stands he needs to add weight to his frame and will spend his first year on campus working hard in Michigan's strength and conditioning program. "When I talked to Coach [Ed] Warinner the first time I went up there, he told me he sees me as a prototypical left tackle," Persi said. "I'm going to redshirt my freshman year and put some size on and add strength." Of course, Warinner, Michigan's offensive line coach, will play a huge role in his development as well. The veteran coach has an impressive ré- sumé, which also played a big role in Persi's decision to side with the Wolverines. "Coach Warinner definitely has a good track record of development" the prospect explained. "I love what he does with the offensive line. I'm really looking forward to getting in that program and seeing how he can develop me. "He's a great coach, and we have a great relationship." Persi Sr. also gave Warinner high marks. "He's going to tell you exactly what it is," Persi Sr. said. "You know the man has integrity. You know he's a wonderful father when speaking with him. He's raised a great family. He has shown nothing but love for these recruits. "We truly believe he's going to be that father away from home when Jeff gets there — either that or he's one hell of a salesman." Persi added that he is a full be- liever in the future of the Michigan program and is ready to help the Wolverines take the next step. "I'm excited," Persi said. "I think we're in a great spot. I wouldn't say there have been struggles, but with the rivalry against Ohio State, I think we can turn it around. I say it's a great spot to be in because we can build that motivation and turn it around." Persi Sr. shared similar sentiments and can't wait to watch his son re- store Michigan's storied tradition. "I'd be a fool to say they're not go- ing to be back," Persi Sr. noted. "Is it in two or three years? I don't know. I hope. All the pieces are there. It's now strategically aligning them. "But I'm blown away by the pro- gram, the camaraderie, the family and the academics. I think the road is very bright for them." ❑ MARCH 2020 THE WOLVERINE 47 DID YOU KNOW? • Started at tackle for his junior and senior seasons, after con- verting from tight end. • Helped lead JSerra to a 9-3 record and a state quarterfinal ap- pearance in 2018 as a junior, before losing to current U-M sopho- more running back Zach Charbonnet's Oaks Christian squad. • Ran a 5.36-second 40-yard dash and clocked a 4.75-second shuttle run at The Opening Regional. THEY SAID IT • Team USA head coach Jason Mohns, who coached Persi at the International Bowl: "We have a lot of highly rated guys, and Persi has been the best one up front. He's got an incredible frame. He's athletic. He bends well. He's a smart kid. He's had a great attitude all week long. "He's one of the more high-profile kids out here. He's not slight by any means, but when you look at him, he's lean. You can tell that you can pack a lot of weight on his frame. It's going to be scary to see what he looks like in a couple of years once he gets into a college weight and nutrition program. He's got the prototypi- cal tackle body. He's exactly what you want." • Michigan recruiting director Matt Dudek: "He's a top-five offensive tackle in the country, I'll say it right now. Four years from now, feel free to blow me up on Twitter … you do so anyway. I don't care. I'm telling you, Persi is a top-five offensive tackle in the country, and when he gets here and develops under [offensive line coach] Ed Warin- ner and [strength coach] Ben Herbert, I cannot wait to see that guy play." At 6-7, 275 pounds, Persi is the tallest and third- heaviest recruit in Michigan's class of 2020. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND

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