For Toledo (OH) Whitmer standout Chris Wormley, committing to a school has always been about a feeling. Opportunity to play, a chance to win, great tradition, and a family-like atmosphere are all important factors in establishing the comfort level he has been searching for. In recent months he has been growing increasingly secure with the thought of Michigan as that place. Friday, with his entire family and his girlfriend in tow, that thought became even stronger.
"I loved it up there," said Wormley of his time in Ann Arbor. "We got there and talked to Coach Singletary and Coach Montgomery. They took us around Schembechler Hall, the indoor facility, and the weight room. I talked to the strength coach and I talked to the academic people. They told us about time management and scheduling classes and what you can do and all that stuff. Then they took us back to Schembechler Hall and I talked to Coach Mattison, Coach Hoke, and all the other coaches. We sat down and had a real good talk with them. They took us around the campus and showed us the different buildings for classes and everything. It was real good."
Wormley has raved about his prior visits to Michigan also, but this one was different. This one resonated a bit more. Friday's visit allowed him to get a more personal feel for the people that could become his football family for the next four to five years.
"It was more one-on-one time," he explained. "The last time I went up there it was a junior day, so there was about 20-30 kids there. This time we got to sit down and talk to all the coaches individually and tour the campus."
"We were joking around the whole time," added Wormley regarding his interaction with the coaches. "When we went to the weight room I was with Coach Singletary and Coach Montgomery. There was this dumbbell that is like 172 lbs. It is so hard to pick up because the base has a rounded grip. Coach Singletary and I picked it up. Then Coach Montgomery tried and he couldn't pick it up. We were joking him the whole day about it. (Laughter). When I first got there (the coaches) were talking about how the first 20 minutes they have meetings and stuff and they will be all serious and everything, then right away they will start joking. I could tell that they were big jokesters."
Wormley is unmistakably private and publicly quiet, but get to know him and the jokester side of him emerges as well. That explains why his mesh with the staff grew even more Friday. No one will ever doubt this Michigan coaching staff's seriousness, intensity, or commitment to doing what it takes to win. At the same time, they have an endearing ability to inject fun, and light-heartedness into the every-day grind. That quality is apparent to him in each of the Michigan staff members he deals with most,
On Director of Player Development, Chris Singletary.:
"He is the main person that I talk to on Facebook and everything. He is just a laid back, fun guy and I'm real comfortable around him."
On Defensive Line Coach, Jerry Montgomery:
"We're always joking around and stuff. I'm real comfortable with him too. We went to his office for probably a good 45 minutes and talked about the players that are there. We (also) watched some film on the defenses that we're going to be running this year and where I would play and everything. He showed us around the defense and stuff."
On Defensive Coordinator, Greg Mattison:
"Oh my gosh! (Laughter). When we first got there he took my girlfriend Lexi into his room and started playing Lady Gaga. It was crazy! (Laughter). He pulled her aside because we were talking to Coach Hoke, and he just grabbed Lexi and brought here in there and started playing Lady Gaga on his IPod. It was real funny."
On Michigan headman, Brady Hoke:
"He is a real laid back guy. He is more serious than the other ones but he still likes to have fun and joke around."
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for part two of this feature in which Wormley talks about his decision timeline, what he talked to Kyle Kalis about, and more.