Hayward, Calif., DE Phillip Mbakagu

GBW caught Hayward HS (Hayward, Calif.) defensive end <b>Phillip Mbakagu</b> at home Thursday evening. Needless to say UM Coach Ron English was busy during his West Coast swing.

"The recruiting process is fun so far and people are really pushing me to make a choice, but I'm going to wait as long as I can to decide", Mbakagu (Nike Camp numbers - 6-2, 260, 5.00 40, 32 reps, 4.58 shuttle) told me. He was one of the top defensive linemen at the recent Stanford Nike Camp, showing the strength and quickness to play end but has been projected as a tackle in college. He was an All-State Underclassmen and Student Sports Junior All-American selection last fall after tallying 17 sacks.

"I really don't have any favorites right now. I've never been out of California so I'm going to set up visits to each part of the country, New York, Florida, the Midwest, Washington, all over. I'm going to take an unofficial visit to Cal sometime soon."

I asked if he had any offers and he proceded to run of an impressive list of schools, "Oregon, Colorado, Cal, USC, and Oklahoma," among many others. But the real question we want answered is does he have an offer from Michigan? "Yeah, Coach English gave me a verbal offer when he was here last week.

"I don't have a problem leaving California and my family is going to leave the decision up to me, so I'm going to see as much as I can."

What is Mbakagu looking for in a school? "Good academics, good coaches, and a good program. I have a 3.3 GPA and I took the SAT on May 3 but I don't have the score yet." Looking ahead, Mbakagu asked me if I had any information on the CaliFlorida Bowl game, "I really want to play in that. That sounds like a fun game."

"I am going to be working with a speed coach this summer, John Nelson, and I'm going to the Defensive Lineman Camp in Dublin, (Calif) too.

Spring practice for Hayward starts Monday, May 19th and GBW plans to be there to see this awesome player in person.

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