The assumption was always there that Aidan Hutchinson was going to be a Wolverine.
Early on in the process however, his father, Chris Hutchinson, a former captain at Michigan, told his son that wherever he decided was the best college for him, he would have his dad's support. Dad lived up to those words and the family visited many schools including Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State, three of Michigan's biggest rivals.
When the dust settled, however, Aidan's lifelong familiarity and love for the school where his father played at led him to follow in those footsteps and on Tuesday, they drove up to Ann Arbor and committed to Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.
"I looked at all the schools and Michigan always been up there for me, but I was trying to see what other schools were out there and none compared to Michigan," Hutchinson said.
The commitment was very well received, especially in the aftermath of a visit to South Bend just the day before.
"I immediately felt like a part of the family. When I told Coach Harbaugh, he was ecstatic. Coach Mattison was with me too. Then when I walked into the hallway, it was like all the coaches were out there. It was a huge celebration."
Hutchinson stands 6-foot-6, 245 pounds. That is up from the 6-foot-4, 220 pounds he was when Michigan offered almost a year ago. He had 11 sacks at that size during the fall and his combination of physical skills, intangibles and growth potential has the Wolverine defensive staff excited about what he could be.
"Right after told them I was committing, we had a little defensive meeting with Coach Brown and Coach Mattison about where I would be playing and they said it would be one of their defensive ends, they don't know which one yet because of how my body will grow but it will be either a five-tech or a six-tech."
The Hutchinsons continued to attend Michigan games even after Chris was done playing. As a result, Aidan has some very early memories of The Big House.
"It goes back a long way. I've been going to games ever since I was little with my dad. I remember visiting for a game when I was nine when they were honoring my dad as a captain."
In about 18 months, he will run through the same tunnel and touch the same banner his father did, wearing the same winged helmet, and although he still has unfinished business at Divine Child this fall, that future in Ann Arbor is visible on the horizon.
"That's going to be something else, a special moment, one I've been dreaming about since I was a little kid. Just thinking about it now gets me excited and I can't wait to start there."