It hasn’t taken long for four-star linebacker E.J. Levenberry to establish quite the reputation on the gridiron. The class of 2013 standout is such a ferocious defender that college programs from coast to coast have been lining up to show interest. Sorting through all those suitors is a quite the undertaking, but Levenberry and his father have been aided greatly in that process by the youngster’s high school coaches. The C.D. Hylton staff has served as a great filter, sharing their impressions of many of the college representatives that stopped by. One of the representatives that made an especially positive impression was Michigan assistant, Jerry Montgomery.
“I was talking to our athletic director (Salvatore Colangelo) and our head coach (Tony Lilly) and they told me a Michigan coach was up to visit at the school,” Mr. Levenberry recalled. “Both of them said, ‘you really have to meet this guy -- he is really sharp.”
It was at that point that the Levenberrys decided that Michigan was worth taking a longer and harder look at.
“We are looking for a place with some substance to it and Michigan is a place like that,” Mr. Levenberry stated. “I had an opportunity to sit down and speak with Coach Montgomery and he is not a guy that is going to lie to you. He is going to give it to you straight. He will tell you the real deal. Coach Montgomery is very genuine. When you meet and talk with their kids, they are very happy at Michigan. As a parent I also received a real good feel for Coach Hoke and his staff. They were not cocky at all, I feel like they are saying if you send your kid to us we will take care of him.”
Another feather in the Wolverines’ cap is the elder Levenberry’s existing connection to the program. It has afforded him unique insight into just how the Michigan program does things.
“I know Blake Countess’ father, Wendell,” stated Levenberry. “We grew up together and went to Central State college in Ohio. He speaks very highly of them. He said they take care of his son and that everything they tell you they are going to do, they do it.”
That dad is growing increasingly comfortable with Michigan certainly bodes well for the Wolverines’ chances, but that only matters if son E.J. is feeling the Maize & Blue too. Turns out he is.
“I really enjoyed my visit at Michigan,” said E.J. “I had a chance to talk with Shane Morris and Dymonte Thomas, and they were talking to me about how much they like Michigan. They are really nice guys it is like we had known each other for some time. They were telling me good things about Michigan and their point of view of it."
Among the good things the Michigan commitments talked about were their favorable views of the staff in Ann Arbor – views that he saw validated during the visit.
“Coach Montgomery is real cool,” the younger Levenberry stated. “We talked (during the visit) and we also talked on Facebook a couple of times. Coach Mattison, I really like him too. He is a defensive-minded guy and he wants me to come to Michigan. I like the defensive schemes he runs. He used to coach my favorite football player in Ray Lewis, so we had a chance to talk about that and some other football talk. Plus I love Coach Hoke. He coached against my dad before. He reminds me of my high school football coach."
As important as those interactions were, they were only part of the reason for the trip to Ann Arbor. Even higher on the list of priorities was learning more about the academic aspects of Michigan.
“We had the chance to visit the athletic side and we came away with a lot of info, then shortly after that we visited the academic side of things,” said Mr. Levenberry. “Michigan is really doing some interesting things over there as far as technology and the kids all having I-pads for their class work. I like what they are doing with the kids academically. I want a school that is strong both academically as well as athletically. A school that that has my son’s major business marketing and can compete for conferences titles and BCS bowl games.”
“I am looking at the academics of a school to see if they have the major I want for my degree,” E.J. added. “I want to know if tutors are available and about the type of technology that is in place. How far is my dorm room from my classes? I also want to be close to my position coach. I just want to see what they have to offer overall."
A decision for E.J. is certainly off is likely still many months away, but he and his father have already determined Michigan’s place in the early pecking order.
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on Levenberry in the weeks and months to come.