The Wolverine

February 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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54 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2018   PREP PROFILES U-M got involved with Orange (Ca- lif.) Lutheran four-star wide receiver Kyle Ford while he was in town for U- M's BBQ last July and has been one of his favorite options since then. Head coach Jim Harbaugh and graduate as- sistant/wide receiver coach Joe Hast- ings both made a solid impression on the 6-3, 195-pounder during the visit. "As I was walking out, Coach Har- baugh stopped me and asked me if I had an offer," Ford recalled. "I said, 'No sir,' and he said, 'Well, you do now,' and that was that. It was great. "Coach Hastings walked around with me when we went on the tour. We just talked about a lot, and he told me about how everything was head- ing in the right direction up there." Ford already held offers from pro- grams like Colorado, Georgia, Ten- nessee, UCLA, USC and Washington when Michigan extended one, and has since picked up tenders from Notre Dame, Penn State and Utah, among others. The Michigan offer was one he was waiting for, and it was special to reel that in while on campus. "It made me feel really good be- cause that is a big-time school," Ford explained. "I loved it there. Every- one was very welcoming, and the coaches are really good people just aside from football." Ford is very happy to have a Mich- igan offer in hand, but he's remain- ing patient in the process. As a junior, he still has a lot of time to figure his situation out and he intends to take as much as he needs. "I don't really have a leader — but Michigan is easily up there for me, though," Ford explained. As is always the case, it will be tough to pull Ford across the coun- try to Ann Arbor especially with schools like USC and UCLA in- volved. Ford's father is a Trojans fan, but Michigan is definitely in the mix according to the standout wide receiver. As a sophomore at Servite High School in Anaheim, Ford reeled in 52 receptions for 950 yards and six touchdowns. This past season at Lu- theran, he exploded for 91 receptions for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns. Following his stellar junior cam- paign, he was selected to the All- Trinity League first team by the coaches and was also named to The Orange County Register's All-County first team. rates him as the No. 13 wide receiver and No. 77 overall prospect nationally. — Brandon Brown The Washington, D.C., metropol- itan area is teeming with football talent. While he U-M coaches don't recruit the area as hard as some other regions around the country, they did offer Fort Washington (Md.) Na- tional Christian Academy three-star offensive tackle Will Harrod in early December. The junior prospect was stunned when he saw a U-M staffer in his school and even more surprised when he was offered. "Coach [Tim] Drevno was at the school, and he offered me," Harrod said. "I'm super blessed. I can't be- lieve it." At the time of the Michigan offer, the 6-6, 305-pound Harrod held offers from Arizona, East Carolina, Louis- ville, South Carolina and Virginia. The Wolverines instantly became his most prestigious option, and that's something that still resonates. "I grew up watching Michigan," Harrod said. "Michigan was always the team that was on TV. I know Michigan has a great program. I know they have a rivalry against Ohio State and that Coach Drevno is very good. He does a good job of working with his linemen on tech- nique and strength. "He told me a bit about Michigan, and I thought it was really good. The education there and the sports program can really help me in both areas." Since being offered by Michigan, Harrod has picked up other oppor- tunities from Virginia Tech, Rutgers and Maryland, and all three have his attention. "I really like Virginia Tech," he said. "I've been watching them for a while now. I went up there to watch them play Duke. I really liked how they welcomed me, and I liked the atmosphere. "I know Rutgers is in the Big Ten, and they have a good offensive line coach. I talked to a couple coaches and the head coach, too. They really want me to come up there and check them out. "I was really excited when Mary- land offered. It's great to get that hometown look. I was really excited to go down there." Those three schools along with Michigan seem to make up Harrod's unofficial top four as January moves along, but he's remaining patient in the process. He should continue to rack up bigger offers as he stands out for a talented National Christian Academy program. — Brandon Brown Wolverines In The Mix For Talented California Receiver Michigan At The Top For Big Junior Tackle ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Lutheran H.S. Orange, Calif. Class: 2019 Position: Wide Receiver Ht.: 6-3 • Wt.: 195 Rankings: No. 12 prospect in California, and No. 13 wide receiver and No. 77 overall player nationally Kyle Ford ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ National Christian Academy Fort Washington, Md. Class: 2019 Position: Offensive Tackle Ht.: 6-6 • Wt.: 305 Rankings: No. 14 player in Maryland Will Harrod Harrod "I grew up watching Michigan. … I know Michigan has a great program." Ford "I don't really have a leader — but Michigan is easily up there for me, though."

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