Michael Strickland didn't know what to expect when he attended the Nike combine on the campus of the Univeristy of Oregon last spring.
"We just so happened to be up there, so he went ahead and did the whole Nike thing," Michael's father, Kendall Strickland said of his combine appearence in Oregon.
The rest, as they say, is history.
An unknown prospect at the time, Strickland was just looking for an opportunity to gain the interest of some smaller schools or play in a league that mirrored his brother, Tim Strickland whom plays safety at Princeton. But the sophomore at the time, saw his stock rise much further than that after a solid pre-junior camp.
"He ran real well up there and really got noticed by some of the Oregon guys on the staff, Strickland said. "They've been in contact with Michael ever since. Because he was up there, a lot of the West coast schools were the first to know about Michael."
In fact, the only camp that the Walton High School senior decided to attend this summer, was Kentucky's camp.
"Joker has done an absolutely fabulous job of recruiting Michael," the elder Strickland said. "He came to visit Michael in the spring and he watched him play in a real game setting. I think once he saw that, he put the hoof on the horse and went ahead and pulled the trigger on an offer."
With an offer in hand, the 6-foot-1, 190 pound athlete decided to take the five-hour trek to Lexington and meet Coach Brooks in person.
"He really loved Coach Brooks," Strickland said. "Not only as a coach, but on a more personal level."
Coach Brooks and his staff, however, has also been the main reason why Strickland is keeping a watchful eye on the season. The Marietta (Ga.) native has already stated he'll cross UK of his list of suitors if the staff does not stay another year.
"Kentucky's only real negative is whether or not their staff will be around next year," he added. "Every magazine in town that we've picked up has said this will be his last season. You'd think that Coach Brooks would get another year, since he's only been there for two seasons, but who knows?"
For his son, a college decision will be made very soon, according to Kendall. He'll take unofficial visits to each of his top three schools and then make a decision afterwards.
"He's gonna get offered some more scholarhsips in September, but I doubt he'll take a long look at those," Strickland said. "He's gonna go to Kentucky for the Louisville game (September 4th), Oregon for the USC game (September 24th), and Miami of Ohio for their game against Cincinnati."
"I think he's picked some good games. Can you imagine what it's gonna be like for the USC game? I think even the Kentucky game, that place will be packed."
Strickland has offers from all of the above leaders, as well as Bowling Green. Last season, as a junior, he had 36 catches for 550 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is projected to play wide receiver or cornerback at the next level.