Stribling Coach Not Surprised By His Success

Coach Brian Hales head coach of Butler high school in Mathews N.C. is not shocked at all to hear about Channing Stribling's outstanding U-M camp performance. GoBlueWolverine caught up with the coach of the Tar Heel State powerhouse to discuss his talented pupil's sudden emergence.

The Channing Stribling commitment happened all because of a coach going the extra mile to help kids.

"My defensive coordinator Steve Shaughnessy, to his credit, has been taking kids up to the Michigan camp for years," said Butler headman, Brian Hales.  "He is phenomenal. He has coached a lot of our big time kids. So when he vouches for a kid it means something."

Stribling's outstanding play at camp might have made others turn their collective heads, but certainly not Coach Hales or Coach Shaughnessy. They have been seeing it for a few years now, particularly in practice.

"The Striblings moved here from Charlotte," Hales stated.  "They are a military family and relocated to Mathews here in North Carolina. He caught our eye in practice.  We knew he had talent... we just let him grow here.  He was mostly a wide receiver -- he didn't play a lot of defense until this year."

Butler High School has turned out its fair share of top talent, including former Michigan safety, Jamar Adams.  Always stocked with talent, Butler youngsters often get tested more in practice than they do in games.  Mix that in with the schedule that Butler plays, and it's not that surprising that Stribling was ready to step up to the challenge at Michigan's camp.

"We knew he could play," Hales said, "but at Butler, with the amount of competition at practice we have, it will always help out our players. Channing was matching up against Uriah LeMay in practice, and it was something to see him compete everyday against Uriah. Then you factor the schedule that we play -- he has received some very good experience."

So how Channing was missed on the radar a kid with this kind of talent?  That's a question Hales himself has asked.

"We had about 70 schools come through here to see our kids during the spring. That gives our kids an opportunity to be seen."

When the Michigan coaches had a chance at camp to do the eye test on Stribling, it didn't take long for them to send the message that they liked what they were seeing. "Coach Shaughnessy told me things were moving along great. Then I get a call from Coach Montgomery (defensive line coach) and he tells me how much they like him. And do we have his transcripts.  And so at that point things sound promising."

Things clearly got more serious as Stribling continued to impress in session after session during the camp.

"Next thing I hear is Brady Hoke wants to talk with him," Hales said, "and Brady meets with him and offers him. Channing says he has to talk with his mom and dad first. I talked with the mom, and she says if Channing is comfortable with it then it is alright with her. So the next morning I haven't heard from him at all and I give him a call at about 6:45 and ask him about how things are going. He tells me, 'I am going to meet with Coach Hoke and commit.' Channing is the type of kid that wears his emotions on his sleeve, so he was very excited about it."

All of this really came about so very quickly that at some point there was reason to pause just to collect oneself.

"Channing's mom was so surprised by how fast things were happening that she had to take a deep breath, because this went by very quick."

Now that he is Michigan's newest commit, what does Stribling bring to the table that makes him be an asset to the Maize and Blue?

"What I like about Channing is his competitiveness. He is a very smooth athlete. He plays football, basketball and runs track. It will help him now that he is able to just concentrate in college on one sport. Channing matches up well with guys on the other side of the ball. He will run step for step with you."

Coach also looks at a few other strengths that Channing Stribling has that is much need on any team that wants to be successful.

"With his competitiveness it rubs off on his teammates he raises the level of play among his teammates. He is a great kid the teachers love to have him in class; Channing has a great personality and a great respect for those in authority. He is mature kid but still a kid who interacts well with adults and kids."

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