The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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64 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY AUSTIN FOX Essexville (Mich.) Garber three-star fullback Ben VanSumeren's Michigan recruitment was a unique one, to say the least. The Wolverines showed almost no interest in the 6-3, 232-pounder until college football's early signing period Dec. 20-22, a time when most 2018 kids were ending their recruitment. "Communication between Ben and Michigan was nonexistent for a long, long time," VanSumeren's head coach, Jake Coquillard, explained. "I touched base with [defensive line coach] Greg Mattison a few times early on, but that was about it. "The Michigan coaches were actu- ally very apologetic later on, because they felt like they had lost Ben in the shuffle a bit. It wasn't until the final hour when we really started hearing from them. "I think it was on Dec. 14 when [running backs coach] Jay Harbaugh told Ben that Michigan would be of- fering him. He immediately took an official visit there, and it just wound up being a crazy 48 hours." Although interactions with the U-M coaching staff had been brief (at best) throughout the recruiting pro- cess, VanSumeren actually had a deep affection for the Maize and Blue that dated back to his childhood. "A big reason he chose Michigan was because his mom is a U-M alum, and it's always been a dream of his to go there," Coquillard revealed. "She's currently on the tail end of a big fight with cancer, and Ben really wanted to stay close to her. U-M Jumps In Late To Snare State Record Holder Ben VanSumeren RECEIVING STATISTICS Year Rec. Yards TD Avg. 2017 85 1,259 13 14.9 2016 49 776 8 15.8 2015 42 853 8 20.3 RUSHING STATISTICS Year Car. Yards TD Avg. 2017 54 387 6 7.2 2016 72 489 6 6.8 2015 34 177 5 5.2 HONORS • Tabbed to the All-State first team as a wide receiver after his senior season by USA Today. • Made The Detroit News All-State Dream Team (all divisions) in 2017. • 2017 Associated Press Division 5-6 high school football Player of the Year and first-team All-State. He was hon- orable mention as a junior. • Checked in at No. 16 on The Detroit News' Blue Chips list of the state's top prospects. • 2017 Golden Helmet Class B Player of the Year, presented by Coca-Cola and MLive to the top Bay City area player in that classification. • 2015, 2016 and 2017 Bay City Times Dream Team member. RECRUITMENT • Originally committed to Western Michigan in February of his junior year. • Backed off his WMU commitment in May after receiving Power Five inter- est, which ultimately led to a commit- ment to Iowa Nov. 10. • Flipped his pledge to Michigan Dec. 17, following an official visit to Ann Arbor. He received the tender Dec. 14, less than a week before the start of the early signing period. BEN VanSUMEREN FULLBACK 6-3 • 232 GARBER HIGH SCHOOL ESSEXVILLE, MICH. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — 34* 15 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 63* 15 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 52* 14 * Ranked as an athlete 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 64 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 VanSumeren set a Michigan regular-season state record with 85 receptions as a senior. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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