Shallman enjoys BBQ, looks forward to season

2013 Michigan commitment Wyatt Shallman has been hard at work this off-season, hoping to avenge a disappointing finish to an otherwise banner 2011 season. Shallman talks with GBW about his experience at the BBQ at the Big House, his feelings on possibly adding a third running back to the class, and a reflection on the year that was for the bruising ball carrier.

Michigan's annual barbecue at the Big House took place Sunday afternoon in Ann Arbor, and with plenty of food on the grill the Wolverines coaching staff were able to lure several future players on campus to partake in conversation, recruiting, and a full belly. One of many class of 2013 commitments in attendance was Catholic Central running back Wyatt Shallman.

"I had a lot of fun," said Shallman to GoBlueWolverineof his barbecue experience. "I think last year, because I wasn't committed, it wasn't with the people I'm committed with. Now but this year it was boat loads of fun and just hung out with the guys the whole time. We just joked around so it was a really good experience."

Although most of Michigan's 2013 class have been committed for quite a while, the recent flip of Avon, Ohio cornerback Ross Douglas from Penn State to the Wolverines meant it was time for the guys to welcome and get to know another one of their brothers.

"Ross Douglas and a couple other guys who just recently committed, and a couple of the Ohio guys—I got to know then a little bit better," said Shallman. "It was good, I mean we all know each other pretty well so it was just cool to hang out with each other for that long of a time."

With just two spots remaining in Michigan's nationally acclaimed 2013 class, one of those scholarships could be snatched up by Virginia running back Derrick Green who made his way north to Ann Arbor to eat, greet and finally meet Head Coach Brady Hoke as well as Shallman and the whole clan.

"He's a real cool kid," said Shallman of Green. "He's got to figure some things out himself but I just told him to make the right decision—and if that's Michigan, it's Michigan. He needs to be happy where he's at with his family and his friends and he'll make the right decision—and if it's Michigan that's great, but if it's not then good luck to him."

If Green were to choose the Wolverines over a host of other school's including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia, that would give Michigan three running back commitments in the 2013 class alone. With only one football to go around, Shallman isn't worrying about the added competition in the backfield.

"Not to be cocky but people don't have what I have—I mean I'm 6'3, 250 pounds and I can run, so I'm a very versatile player so I'm not too worried about it" said Shallman. "I'm excited for the competition. I can, one play, go block; the next play run the ball; the next play go line up at tight end. I can do it all so I'm not really too worried about that—and we always need running backs."

Already a force in the backfield, Shallman has spent the off-season getting stronger and faster, as well as having some fun in the sun on a family vacation.

"Just working out with mainly the Catholic Central football team. And then, like, once or twice a week I go over to Barwis just for some smaller muscle groups, quads, stuff like that and hamstrings," said Shallman. "Just a lot of working out. I went on vacation to South Carolina, that was pretty cool, I caught a shark. It was like a five foot long bonnet head which is like a sub species of the hammer head."

Shallman and Catholic Central are hoping to lay the hammer down on the competition this fall after an uncharacteristic beating that took place in the state championship game last year at Ford Field at the hands of Detroit Cass Tech High School. With plenty of time to let it sink in, Shallman and his teammates are using the loss as a positive with hopes of redemption in the future.

"From a person who doesn't go to CC, I mean some people are content with getting to the playoffs each year and doing that," said Shallman. "CC's goal—actually, it's not even our goal—it's state championship or bust. Last year we got to the state championship, we just didn't play super great. And I think it was a great learning experience for the younger kids because now we know that we have to work as hard as we did plus a little bit more to get there and win. I think it definitely put a chip on our shoulder this off-season. We've been lifting and running like animals, so now the hard part is done and we just need to put on pads and have fun. I'm excited for this year and I hope we get to play Cass Tech again."

While Shallman and Catholic Central will open camp today in their quest to return to Ford Field, the beastly running back has been through a lot over the last calendar year and with great support Shallman couldn't be happier with where life, football and his future are all headed.

"This last year has been a growing year for me because going through a major injury like that—you know I've never been injured like that in a football season so learning how to deal with that, learning how to play through injuries, learning how to manage recruiting with school, learning how to manage football with school, it was different, it was quite a shock to the system," said Shallman. "I think my family really helped me, my friends really helped me and it worked out in the long run."

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