Unearthing new defensive targets has become commonplace in recent days for the Michigan coaching staff. One of the more viable targets to have emerged is Denver (CO) Mullen LB Leilon Willingham. The speedy linebacker committed to Texas A&M last month, but now his interest is focused on a handful of other programs, including the Maize & Blue.
"I decommitted (Wednesday)," Willingham reported. "I'm looking at Arizona State, Washington, (Colorado), Central Florida, and Michigan"
"I haven't been talking (to Michigan) too long, but I'm going out there (Friday) morning on an official. I've been interested in them a little from a distance, but we didn't start talking until (recently)."
Michigan offensive line coach Darrell Funk is keying the recruiting effort for the Wolverines. This recruitment is an instance of the new Michigan assistant continuing a recruiting effort that began when he was at SDSU.
"I talked to them a few times when they were at San Diego State," said Willingham regarding the new Michigan staff. I already know a lot about Coach Hoke. He went from Ball State to San Diego State."
Willingham also knows a thing or two about the Wolverines' new defensive coordinator.
"They got the guy from the Ravens," said Willingham. "That's big. Ray Lewis is my favorite player."
Like his idol, Willingham is a sideline to sideline presence from his middle linebacker position. As Mullen's leading tackler last year he helped propel the Mustangs to the 5A Colorado State Championship.
"I'm about 6-1, 238, and I run a 4.59," he reported. They say I run, I hit, and I'm good with my hands. "
All of his finalists covet that talent, but only one can come out victorious. Visits will figure prominently into the decision making process, and Michigan and Central Florida will be the last of his favorites to host him over the next two weekends.
"I've already visited (Arizona State, Washington, and Colorado)," said Willingham. "I'm going to take all my visits before I make a decision. The school and the football parts are going to come. (The decision) will mainly be about the people I surround myself with and the environment I'm going to be in. I want to go the place where I feel like they can help me become a man and get my degree."
One thing that won't be much of a factor is distance.
"I know both of my parents would like me to stay home, but that's not really (an issue) for me," he said. "I'm just looking to do what's best for me."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Willingham in the coming days.