The Michigan basketball coaching staff has been in contact with 2015 Cincinnati Moeller (OH) high school center/power forward Nate Fowler and his family throughout the summer. After several phone conversations with head coach John Beilein and assistant coach Jeff Meyer, the Fowler's came to Ann Arbor Saturday on an unofficial visit to Michigan, to finally meet the coaches in person and get a feel for what the Wolverines have to offer.
"Other than seeing them sitting off by themselves at games we've never been able to even say hello to them," Fowler's mother told GoBlueWolverine. "They're very good about making sure they don't ever have any contact with parents and or kids. It was nice to finally be able to talk with them and just kind of get a feel for what they're all about."
"The coaching staff is really down to earth, very welcoming, and just made you feel at home," she added. "They just made you really be able to envision sending their son to be with them and know that he was going to be taken care of. He would have great character guiding him and being encouraged to make all the right choices."
Aside from finally being able to interact in person with the Michigan coaches, a major part of the visit for the Fowlers was the trip through the academic center and strategy for keeping student-athletes on the right track.
"The facilities are top rate, just amazing," said Fowler's mother. "The support that they get for the academics, which is really important to us, was great to see."
"You start some place, division one basketball, there's a lot of other things that are going to take up your time, and you're away from home for the first time—it's nice to know they don't wait until they get into trouble, they guide them along until they see what their comfort level is."
Student-athletes inside the Michigan basketball program took some time to chat with the Fowlers during the visit, focusing on providing a personal touch as to what the life of a Wolverine hoopster is really like.
"That was one of the most amazing things about it—and Nate really liked it too—is not only were they there at the tailgate at a table eating with us, but then they kind of hooked Nate up with Jordan (Morgan) since he is an engineering student. And Jon (Horford) and then Josh (Bartelstein) and Nick (Stauskas) were at our table."
"They gave great insight into everything we'd been shown and told by the coaches," she said, "and so we were able to follow up and verify that this truly is what it is."
Michigan redshirt junior big man Jordan Morgan personally took Fowler on a tour of some of the facilities, and discussed the flexibility the coaching staff has for the engineering major, a field Fowler is looking to delve into in college.
"He just said that they would make it work," Fowler said, "by moving the practice times around to help him, or if he had to leave practice early they would do something to help him so he wouldn't miss a lot."
"I liked it," Fowler added. "It was different from the other places I visited."
For the 6'8 big man, the players weren't the only ones to leave a positive and lasting impression.
"I like the coaching staff a lot," Fowler said. "They were really nice and they seem to have a lot of fun. It seemed like all of the players and the coaching staff really got along together."
In addition to the Fowler crew, the family of 2013 Michigan commitment Zak Irvin was in town for the Air Force game, and the mother of the Indiana Mr. Basketball candidate talked about their journey and gave a glowing endorsement of the Wolverines coaching staff.
"She said that when Zak would take phone calls from coaches," Fowler's mom said, "she could always tell when he was on the phone with the Michigan coaches ‘cause he was laughing and carrying on and just having a great conversation."
With the Wolverines receiving high marks for the unofficial visit, the Fowlers plan to be on the road next weekend and a few more times throughout the rest of the fall.
"We're going to Ohio State this coming weekend on Saturday," said Fowler's mother. "Then at the end of the month on the 30th he's going to go visit Butler—not for a game or anything but just to visit and get to meet the coaches and see the facilities. Notre Dame, we're trying to work out a visit in October hopefully on the 20th."
The Wolverines followed up on Fowler as well—Michigan assistant coach Jeff Meyer was in attendance for his open gym Tuesday night in Cincinnati.
U-M hits home run with '15 C Fowler and mom
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