Up in the state of Michigan, winter has officially hit with temperatures consistently falling in single digits. Down in Naples, Florida, a cold front blew in as well, briefly dropping temperatures into the 70's before returning to the usual 80-degree January temps.
If warmer weather isn't a good enough reason for a Michigan football coach to head far south to Florida right now, 2014 nose tackle Brady Pallante certainly makes it worth the flight—and that's exactly what defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery did yesterday afternoon, speaking with Pallante after a visit to Barron Collier High.
"He said he's down here for a reason, and everything is going to work out, and hopefully I'll be able to get to play there," Pallante told GoBlueWolverine. "He said as soon as they get the 2013 class all wrapped up -- cause they're still chasing around a couple more guys until that February signing day -- but he said as soon as all those guys get signed they'll be back down here in spring ball and to come down and see me again. Hopefully, he said, at that point in time things would be moving a lot quicker."
Last spring Michigan wide receiver coach Jeff Hecklinski made it down to Naples to check out spring practice, and invited Pallante up to their summer camp where he impressed the coaches with his strength and work ethic. Shortly after, Pallante made it back up to Ann Arbor at the end of July for the Barbecue at the Big House.
"I got to walk around campus and check out the facilities and the school -- all different classrooms, buildings and the academic side of the University of Michigan," said Pallante. "I keep in touch with them once or twice a week."
Pallante, 6'1, 275 pounds finished an impressive junior year with 59 tackles, six sacks, and four forced fumbles, all from the interior of the defensive line, exactly what Michigan envisions him doing at the next level as a one technique.
"The coaches up at Michigan said I remind them a lot of Mike Martin," said Pallante. "Coach Hoke just sat down with me and said, ‘we're looking for a guy who can replace Mike Martin at nose guard and a guy that works hard and is a tough kid'."
Also receiving interest from UCF, Michigan State, Connecticut, FAU, FIU and Duke, Pallante currently holds an offer from Appalachian State. Should a Michigan offer finds it's way into Pallante's possession, it would be a difficult one to turn down.
"I've always kind of been a Michigan fan my entire life, and it's kind of like a dream of mine to play for the University of Michigan," said Pallante. "But at the same time it may not be the best option for me. And to be honest with you, I haven't visited other places."
"But I will say one thing that I know is a positive, that I really love about the University of Michigan, and that is every time I've been up there they treat you with respect; and those coaches up there make you feel comfortable around them. They're able to have a really good conversation with you without being nervous -- just that father figure you're looking for."
FL DL Pallante a ‘Mike Martin type' tackle
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