Next Saturday the Indiana football program will be hosting a Junior Day and one of the prospects who will be on campus is offensive lineman Michael Furtney. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound standout from Milan (MI) Milan H.S. spoke to Peegs.com about the Hoosiers, and about where things stand with his recruiting at this time.
IU has a number of new coaches on the offensive side of the ball, and two of them are coaches that Furtney has a previous relationship with.
“Even though they have a new coaching staff, the cool thing is I actually know two of the coaches already,” he said. “One is Coach (Nick) Sheridan, the Quarterbacks Coach. He actually grew up in the town right next to mine and my coach knew him. When he was at Central Michigan he was recruiting him and I got to know him then. And the O-line coach, Coach (Darren) Hiller, he was actually my group coach at the University of Michigan camp. It was a five hour camp so I got to know him pretty well during that camp. So I knew both of the coaches before the offer so that was pretty great to know them personally.”
Furtney said that he was very impressed with Coach Hiller when he had a chance to work with him at the camp last summer.
“I thought he was great because he quickly realized how certain guys reacted to certain things,” Furtney said about Coach Hiller. “So if some guys reacted better to having him get on their case he would do that, and if someone needed him to explain what they did wrong or explain things to them he would do that. I like how he came at it with an individualistic approach.”
Furtney has visited Indiana before so the trip next weekend won’t be new for him, but there are still some things he is hoping to see when he is on his visit.
“I want to figure out what kind of coaching staff they want to be,” he said when asked what he wants to see at IU next weekend. “I am a player that is looking for a coaching staff that is focused on developing relationships with their players. I am not a fan of programs that have kind of like a factory type approach. I want a program that develops relationships with their players and cares about that aspect of things. I want to see if they have the type of culture that fits my style of play and my attitude about the game. I am hoping that is what I see when I’m there next weekend for the Junior Day.”
This past fall Furtney was the starting left tackle for a Milan team that went 9-2 and had a good season despite their youth.
“I feel like we played pretty well,” he said about his junior year. “We ended up winning our league and we made it to Districts, but unfortunately we ended up losing there. We were an extremely young team so we are returning most of our starters from this year. Since so many of us have grown up together it was like a family on our team. Individually I thought I played well but there is always room for improvement. I just tried to improve every week and do better than I did the week before and the season before. I have always been an aggressive player and this year I felt like I got better with my technique and my form.”
Furtney currently has offers from Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Missouri, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, UConn, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Fresno State, Kent State, Toledo, Western Michigan, Dartmouth and Princeton. He said that his plan is to make a decision by the end of the summer.
“I want to have it over with sometime this summer,” he said about his decision timetable. “I am trying to get everything with the recruiting process done before my season so that I can devote 100 percent of myself to my team for my senior year.”