Midlothian high school defensive end Michael Autwell was one of the first commitments back in the summer for the ULM Warhawks. Recruited by Coach Luke Wells, Michael was visited at his home by Luke as well as head coach Charlie Weatherbie this past week.
"I kept up the Warhawks this year", said Autwell. I always checked the scores of each game. Autwell was busy finishing up his senior season and what a fine one it was. The 6'4 220 ponder was the team captain this year and an all district defensive end. For the season Michael recorded 72 tackles and an incredible 17 tackles for loss. If that wasn't enough he also added 8 quarterback sacks, forced 6 qb hurries, deflected 2 passes, forced 2 fumbles, recovered two, and blocked 2 punts.
While Michael had a great year on the field, his achievements in the classroom are equally impressive. Autwell sports a very impressive 3.64 GPA and is in the schools Honor Society. "I am going to enter ULM's pre-dental school and then move onto their graduate dental program".
Had the campus look changed since his visit in the summer? "I remember the campus looked great before but they are still renovating it. The student success center is going to be really nice. We went to the stadium and they are painting the locker room, upgrading the hall ways, its going to look good by the time I get there".
"Coach Wells and Coach Weatherbie came to my school to see me and then we all went out to eat. I took them to my house to meet my parents and we just continued to talk about my commitment. I told them I was still fully committed to ULM". Michael says that he wouldn't mind red shirting his first year to get even bigger and stronger. "If I am good enough to start and they need me, I will be ready to go".
Michael was a first team all district TE as a sophomore and moved to the DE position his Junior year. He is used on both sides of the ball especially in double tight end situations and full back on goal line situations. His defensive coordinator Coach Craig Carpenter had this to say about Michael. "Michael is one of those blue collar hard workers who stays in the weight room. Michael does everything we ask of him and he is very deserving of this offer. He works hard for everything he has and shows excellent leadership skills on and off the field".
Asked if the departure of defensive coordinator Kim Dameron made him think about his commitment, Michael had this to say. "Honestly yea it did at first. When I got to campus and talked the defensive line coach Manny Michel, he put my mind to rest. Also getting to meet some of the defensive players was great and really made me feel at home. I wouldn't be surprised to see Coach Manny get the defensive coordinator job".
We also talked with Michael father Mr. Benny Autwell and he had this to say about his son's commitment to ULM. "I think the school and the coaches will be a great influence on Michael. He may change his mind but he plans to do a pre med type of degree with hopes of becoming a dentist. His hands are huge but my dentist says that won't interfere. We ate with Manny and his daughter Saturday night and I knew he had an accent, but it turns out he is from the New Orleans area and actually reminded me of a fellow service guy I met from New Orleans while in the Navy. Coach Manny is a very funny and witty guy, we sat down and watched review tape of the defensive line against Alabama. The visit was good and you could not ask for better individuals in a coaching staff".