Sam Webb: Kind of take me through what Sunday was like. A lot of guys I’ve talked to thus far said it was different from some of the other visits that they’ve taken to Michigan. How about you? What was the experience like for you?
Michael Ferns: Yeah, it was different. It was more laid back than the average visit that I’ve made this season, and it’s sort of a kind of deal where you get to meet the coaches, and – you get to meet the coaches, and you get to meet the players you’d be potentially playing with. Just sort of make bonds. It makes the decision a lot easier to make seeing the people you’d be with for four or five years.
Sam Webb: Were there things that you maybe experienced or learned that you didn’t know before you made it on this visit.
Michael Ferns: “I knew the coaches well enough from the visit before, and they’re a great group. They really know how to impress a recruit. They’re easy to talk to, and they’re just a great group to meet.”
Sam Webb: Obviously, I’ve talked a lot to you before, and I’ve talked a lot to your dad, so I have a feeling for what you guys think about Michigan, but what did mom think? What did she think of the coaches? What did she think of the campus and everything?
Michael Ferns: “She enjoyed it. It was the first time she was up there, and she definitely enjoyed it. If you asked her – one of the coaches – I think it was Coach Mattison – asked her what she thought about campus, and she was saying it’s all about knowing what I want. I think that’s how she’s going to look at it, you know? If I feel good about a place, she’s going to stick with my opinion.”
Sam Webb: So as far as the coaches’ approach, it sounds like it was very informal, very laid back, but did they talk much football with you? Did they talk either about how they would see you on the football field, and also did they talk about ‘hey, Michael, are you going to come here?’
Michael Ferns: “You know, it was – football actually, position wise, was only brought up once, and that was because I asked Coach Smith how he saw me as a linebacker, and he said either – more of an inside guy. It was just a question. I was curious and I asked him. Other than that, they want me to get back up again for a game, and that’s a big deal; that’s a big part of the decision making. It was just a laid back trip other than that. It was more so about the rest of my family seeing Michigan. “
Sam Webb: So the coaches didn’t talk to you about a timeline or a timetable or anything like that.
Michael Ferns: “No, no, just whenever I can get up for a game, that would be great.”
Sam Webb: So what about this? How about the recruits? Because it was clear in talking to some of the guys that a lot of the guys had their recruiting hats on, saying ‘hey, you need to come here’. Did any of the guys say or do that to you?
Michael Ferns: “A couple guys came up to me and said ‘hey, you really should be a part of this’. That group is – I think we share similar opinions about things, and I can see how Michigan recruits kids, and everyone’s pretty similar in how they act, and it’s a good group of kids to be around.”
Sam Webb: Now, I don’t know if you caught the tweet, but Shane Morris said ‘if I was there, Michael Ferns would have committed.’ Is that true?
Michael Ferns: “(Laughter) No, you know, he’s messing around with me. We’ve talked about it - just because of obvious reasons. But I found that kind of funny, I actually saw that when we were eating lunch during doubles. We were eating lunch, and everybody’s asking me how I’m replying to him. I still plan on waiting until mid-junior year, or the end of my junior year to commit because I feel like that would be a great time. By then, I’ll have a good understanding of what I want, and I’ll have seen enough to make a decision.”
Michael Ferns: “I’m sticking to those three. Penn State, that’s a tough issue to talk about because it’s really a tough situation for the players and the coaches. But at the same time, the players and the coaches, and being part of that team were the reasons why I was looking at them, and none of that’s changed, so I’ll still stand by them. I look at Notre Dame, Michigan. There’s a possibility of maybe looking at one or two more in the winter, just because, you know, again, the Penn State deal is tough, but at the same time, I think three good schools, without any problems, obviously – I think three good schools to pick from would be best for me.”
Sam Webb: Is Michigan, right now, the favorite for Michael Ferns?
Michael Ferns:” I’ve been asked that before, just because I just came back from the visit. I think, yes, but at the same time for the sake of the other schools I’m looking at, I haven’t had the same opportunity to see a couple of the schools as I did Michigan this weekend. Most of my visits have been, visit the school, and see as much as I can. I did that with the three schools that I was really looking at, and Michigan has had a second chance at impressing me. And yes, I have to say (they are the favorite), but at the same time, I can’t say that there isn’t time for me to visit another school and maybe have the same opportunity that Michigan had for me this weekend.”
Sam Webb: Now your junior season is right upon you. You’re going to get back out on the field soon. Talk to me about how the squad is looking. I know they’re probably looking to you in the leadership position. What’s the outlook for your team this year?
Michael Ferns: “The team right now is one of the better groups that has come through the school. I think it’s fair to say that last year – it’s basically the same team as last year, for the most part, other than the fact that some of the kids in my class are now playing varsity. We had a very small senior class last year, and we made two games in the playoffs, and that was the end of our season. The majority of our team is the same team we saw last year, and we expect to make a longer run. I think we can do it. I believe it, and that’s the kind of mentality that the team holds this year, and we’re just looking to make it as far as we can.”