The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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PREP PROFILES playing on the defensive line at 279 pounds while also being viable threats at running back. Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande High's Elijah Qualls has proven to be one of the rare few, and his ver- satility is earning him more and more looks from high-major programs. Not many players are capable of Qualls "I want to make sure that I'm around good people, good teammates, and that the city I am in is a little fun but doesn't have too many distractions." its to West Coast schools, with Wash- ington having emerged as a potential favorite. Big Ten schools Michigan and Nebraska are among those trying to convince him to leave home, with both recruiting him as a defensive lineman. U-M defensive line coach Jerry Mont- At present, Qualls has limited his vis- gomery relates well to Qualls, having played the same two positions in high school. His numbers might not have glass wide receiver Paul Harris put up big numbers during his junior year, catching 38 passes for 875 yards and 13 touchdowns. His strong play continued during the spring, when he was named the No. 2 wide receiver attendee at the prestigious Rivals/VTO Sports Camps that occurred in nine different cities and states. The strider's MVP award at the Virginia Upper Marlboro (Md.) Frederick Dou- camp and outstanding showing in New Jersey, where he was "clearly one of the standouts, and offers heading toward summer visits. Michigan recently picked up a sec- " has earned him more interest ond wide receiver pledge from Harper Woods (Mich.) standout Csont'e York. The U-M coaches will likely take another, however, and have been keeping an eye on the lanky junior with outstanding hands, having offered in late April. "The offer really came out of nowhere. I didn't even know they were coming to the school, like that I'm a big receiver, and I have speed. They said most big receivers don't have that much speed, but I do. " Harris said. "They said they " Versatile Californian Holds Michigan Offer compared to Qualls' 1,139 yards and 13 touchdowns to go with 76 total tackles and four sacks, which prompted Casa Grande head coach Trent Herzog to call him "incredibly freakish and athletic. "Coach Montgomery told me, 'I was a " pretty good player in high school, but you're probably a better running back, Qualls recalled. "He said I definitely re- mind him more of him on defense. Michigan wants him on that latter " side because he's big and athletic, Qualls added, the same reason many of the schools on his list are intrigued. He recently trimmed his list of favor- ites to eight, including Washington, Oregon State, Arizona, Nebraska, Cal, Michigan, Iowa State and UCLA, while saving room for possible offers from Oklahoma, USC and Oregon. "I'll be looking at the coaches, aca- demics and the environment," Qualls said. "I want to make sure that my coaches are good people, and that they will push me to be the best that I can on the field — and that they will make sure that I am successful off the field, as well. "I want to make sure that I get great academic support because I'm going '" Elijah Qualls ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Casa Grande High School Petaluma, Calif. Position: Athlete Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 279 Ranking:'s No. 25 athlete nationally to be the first in my family that I know of to ever go to a real college. I want to make sure that I take full advantage of that. I want to make sure that I'm around good people, good teammates, and that the city I am in is a little fun but doesn't have too many distractions. Qualls listed his Washington, Oregon State and Arizona visits as his three fa- vorites to date. He's visited Washington twice and went home impressed both times. Though he has no more spring vis- " its planned, Qualls expects to camp at USC, Oregon State, Washington and Cal in the coming months, and he's also contemplating official visits. Landing one of those will be key if Michigan is to have any chance with the talented West Coast product. — Chris Balas Junior Receiver Holds Offers From Michigan And 15 Others Paul Harris ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Frederick Douglass High School Upper Marlboro, Md. Position: Wide Receiver Ht.: 6-4 • Wt.: 186 Ranking: three-star prospect Mallory saved his highest praise for last, telling Harris he thought he had the qualities to be a "Michigan Man." Further developing that relationship Michigan defensive backs coach Curt will be paramount if the Wolverines are to stay in the running for the big receiver, one analysts love for his potential. "It's how my relationship is with him, plan, though he's wide open at this point. One of his summer stops will be June 21 for one day at the Michigan camp — he'll also visit Auburn June 8, USC June 26 and plans trips to Michi- gan State, North Carolina and North Carolina State. He likes Penn State and USC "a lot," and hopes to hear from nearby Virginia Tech, though the Hokies haven't shown great interest. Harris recently received an invite to try and then how he pressures me to get to the school, school or other schools I've gone to, are the coaches good people? Are they not only good coaches, but good people off the field?" Academics are especially important to " Harris said. "If I go to that his mother, he added, and will also play a major part in his decision. Harris has started to develop a game out for the Chesapeake Bowl and will hit Washington, D.C., May 20 in attempt to make the roster. He'll spend the rest of the spring and summer between track — he's outstanding in the 400 meters — and football workouts while searching for the right fit. "Just where I can feel at home, that's probably the major thing," he said. "It's a feeling. I don't really know how to describe it. That's how it is with coaches, too. Coaches come in, and it's a vibe from them. I just want to feel that I could be around them seven days in a week. " — Chris Balas JUNE/JULY 2012 THE WOLVERINE 61

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