The Wolverine

March 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 79 of 213

In the 2013 class, Michigan picked up an early commitment from quar- terback Shane Morris, and Morris helped lead the Wolverines to a top- five recruiting class in the country. St. Clairsville (Ohio) High linebacker Michael Ferns carried the torch in 2014, and although U-M didn't have enough scholarships available to put together another No. 5 class (the 16- man group finished No. 31 nation- ally), Ferns is partially responsible for another successful group. "I think that every class is differ- ent," Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said on National Signing Day. "You have different guys and differ- ent personalities. Mike [Ferns] really took a lead from Shane [Morris] the year before. He got close to guys. They truly like each other and they had been up here enough on unoffi- cial visits. They truly like each other." For Ferns, who committed nearly six months before the next U-M signee (quarterback Wilton Speight) joined the Maize and Blue fold, his early recruiting efforts were a grind. For a while, the 6-3, 235-pound four- star was wondering how long it would take for another member of the class to join him. "For a long time I was telling guys to come visit, and nothing would re- ally come out of it," Ferns said. "It was sort of a tough deal for a while. Then everything got going. It was a situation where there aren't very many people in the class, and it's not moving very fast. It was still fun to be there for everything." Once the floodgates opened, how- MICHAEL FERNS HELPED BRING 2014 CLASS TOGETHER Ferns is rated as a four-star prospect, the nation's No. 14 inside linebacker and the No. 7 player in Ohio by PHOTO BY TIM SULLIVAN

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