The groundwork for Allen Gant's commitment to Michigan was laid almost thirty years ago when then Fremont (OH) Ross star Tony Gant passed up an offer from his home-state Buckeyes (and numerous others) in order to play for the University of Michigan. That was the foundation on which his successful professional life was built. Last Wednesday he learned that even more will spring from his time in the Maize & Blue. It was on that day that Allen revealed that his future and Tony's past would intersect.
"I was going to announce on it on Sunday (June 12th at church)," Allen said. "My grandpa was going to be there around June 12th, but he is not going to end up being there. So I just told him and the rest of my family that I was going to make that announcement earlier."
"I had been thinking about (committing to Michigan) for a couple of weeks," he continued. "After the offer and I was talking to my dad and my mom and I wanted to see if it was going to be for me. I told my mom that I really wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps. Being at Michigan with their tradition… and just everything about Michigan I really love. I came to the conclusion with my parents and the rest of my family that I wanted to be a Wolverine."
That proved to be music to the ears of a coaching staff that has been on quite the recruiting roll in its short time on the job.
"They were excited," said Gant of his future coaches. "I know Michigan is going to be back to how it used to be. They are just real excited."
There was only one person whose excitement was likely a tad greater.
"When I told my dad I could tell that he was holding (the emotion) in," Gant reported. "I knew he was real excited about it. He was glad that he had his son following in his footsteps. He has done a really good job of keeping his composure. I'm sure he is going to break soon."
When the elder Gant spoke to GoBlueWolverine, the grip on that composure loosened a bit. He couldn't hide the fact that he is beaming with pride over his son's choice.
"All these years I've been accused of being a bad dad for having a son that grew up liking Ohio State," stated Tony jokingly. "Now I'm having the last laugh."
A year ago at this time Tony thought he'd be crying inside when it came time for his son to commit. It seemed then that scholarship opportunity from the Buckeyes would almost certainly be accepted. An offer from Ohio State never actually came, but they were still being seriously considered up until decision time last week. Jim Tressel's resignation ultimately proved to be inconsequential to Allen's commitment, but dad indicated that that development removed any possible public suspense regarding what his son's future. It was one more reason not to delay an announcement any longer.
"Even if they had offered me and Tressel was not going to be there, I wouldn't consider going over there," Allen explained. "Tressel is a great guy and I wish him the best for him. I just wish the best for (Ohio State) and I hope they get everything straightened out in the near future, but as of right now I am not concerned at all with what is going on over there. I'm just proud to be a Wolverine now."
With his recruitment now out of the way, Gant's attention turns to preparing for one final run at a championship with his Sylvania Southview team.
"I want to help my boys get another NLL (Northern Lakes League) title and hopefully make another state title run and focus on this season," he said. "I will be attending camp at Michigan. My uncle is also going to be up there helping coaching, so I'll be right up there with him. I want to go out in my senior year with a big bang. I want to look back at my career knowing that I did everything possible that I could to help my team to be successful. I'm real excited for this upcoming football season."
There will be only one other sporting focus for Gant in the coming months, and that's recruiting for his future team.
"I'm definitely going to help," Gant said proudly.
His primary objective is a talented youngster from a neighboring town, Chris Wormley.
"(Wormley) is a very quiet guy," stated Gant. "I haven't really got a chance to talk to him as much about what his college plans were, but I hope to. I just hope for the best with Chris Wormley."