The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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60 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2017   PREP PROFILES As the son of former Illinois full- back Howard Griffith, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star ath- lete Houston Griffith has roots in the Chicago area and knows all about Michigan because of his fa- ther 's employment at the Big Ten Network. Houston has also learned quite a bit for himself over the past few seasons. "Because of my dad's job I've heard a whole lot about Michigan," Griffith said with a smile. "I was there when Coach [Brady] Hoke was there, and then I vis- ited this spring twice. I s a w h o w C o a c h [ J i m ] H a r b a u g h changed things a lot. That's when they of- fered me, too. I got a chance to hang out with the coaches and chill and eat. "I just got a really good feel for the program. I like Michigan a lot." The 6-0, 185-pound Griffith has also learned about Michigan from a few of his high school teammates. The U-M staff is trying hard to cre- ate a pipeline at IMG, and it has worked out well in 2017. "It looks like Michigan is trying to build something to compete for national titles each and every year. Getting guys like Jordan [Anthony] and Cesar [Ruiz] is the way to do that," Griffith explained. "I'm pretty close with both of those guys. Hav- ing friends who are committed to a school is kind of an influence but there are kids going everywhere from IMG. "It's not a big influ- ence, but it is there and I will take that into consideration." With schools like Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State, Notre Dame and Ten- nessee beginning to stand out to Griffith, he has much to think about. His offer list is continually growing, and he wants to take his time until he's ready to decide. "I don't really have any visits set up, but I know I'll be taking a lot this spring and summer," he said. "I'm going to come out with a top list during the summer and either commit before the season or right after the season." rates Griffith as the No. 2 athlete and No. 37 overall player in the country, and he can play in the backfield, as a slot re- ceiver or in multiple places in the secondary. Michigan defensive co- ordinator Don Brown likes him at cornerback, and that's where he's being recruited by U-M. — Brandon Brown Concord (N.C.) High four-star de- fensive tackle Rick Sandidge picked up his Michigan offer in May, and while communication has been a lit- tle quiet between him and U-M since then he's still high on the Wolverines and thinks Jim Harbaugh has a great situation going. "I still know that they take the Maize and Blue very seriously," San- didge said. "They have a really good team. Michigan is a school that gets a lot of respect no matter who they go up against. I know when Coach Har- baugh came back he turned things around really quickly. Michigan has always been a great team, but he re- ally took them to another level." Michigan jumped onto the 6-5, 263-pounder 's radar in May, and Sandidge has been giving U-M a se- rious look ever since. "Michigan actually stopped by to see me twice in about a week's span back in May, and that caught my eye," Sandidge explained. "They came on a Thursday, and then came back the next Thursday to offer me. Coach [Chris] Partridge came to see me and offered me. I was really happy to get that." Michigan is certainly in the mix but as a resident of North Carolina, Sandidge is also being pursued by many other schools that are closer to home. Sandidge has a few po- tential visits coming up this spring and names a few schools that are recruiting him aggressively right now. "So far I've been talking about checking out South Carolina and Vir- ginia Tech," Sandidge said. "North Carolina and South Carolina are kind of sticking out to me right now, too. I feel at home whenever I check out those schools. "I don't really think I need to stay close to home, but those are just the schools I feel comfortable with." After a few more visits, Sandidge plans on paring his list down a bit and listed four schools that will defi- nitely make the cut. "I'm just looking for a school where I feel comfortable at and I'd like to be able to play early," Sand- idge explained. "I'll make my top seven in the spring, and I know that Michigan, Florida State, North Caro- lina, and South Carolina will make that top group. "I don't plan on committing early. I'll just see where things go in the spring." Sandidge is considered the No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 83 overall player in the country by — Brandon Brown Big Ten Legacy Is High On The Wolverines Michigan Will Be In Mix For Four-Star Defensive Tackle ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ IMG Academy Bradenton, Fla. Class: 2018 Position: Athlete Ht.: 6-0 • Wt.: 185 Rankings: No. 2 athlete and No. 37 overall player nationally Houston Griffith ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Concord Concord, N.C. Class: 2018 Position: Defensive Tackle Ht.: 6-5 • Wt.: 263 Rankings: No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 83 overall player in the country Rick Sandidge Sandidge "Michigan has always been a great team, but [Jim Harbaugh] really took them to another level." Griffith "I just got a really good feel for the program. I like Michigan a lot."

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