Fresh off winning a state championship in wrestling, 2014 Naples (Fla.) Barron Collier high school defensive tackle Brady Pallante had an important phone call to make that would send him from excited to absolutely elated in a matter of moments.
“Coach Mattison, a couple days before the tournament, told me to give him a call after I finished it,” Pallante told GoBlueWolverine. “So I gave him a call when I got home. It was about six o’clock, we just started talking and he brought up the fact that they were going to offer me a full scholarship.”
Michigan’s extension of the gray shirt scholarship offer served as news Pallante had been waiting on for quite a while.
“To me, it means everything,” said Pallante. “It’s what I’ve dreamed about since I started playing football, is to be offered a division one scholarship to the University of Michigan. We (he and GBW) talked a while ago and -- this is a place I always dreamed of playing at.”
“I’ve been talking to my parents for a couple months now about options and where would be the best place for me to play -- just all of these different opportunities that have come and will be coming to you. They’re (Michigan) right there at the top of the list.”
Camping in Ann Arbor, having the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching from Jerry Montgomery, Mattison, and coach Brady Hoke, Pallante’s familiarity and understanding of Michigan from a football perspective couldn’t be much greater. But the Pallante’s would like to sit down with the staff to discuss their plans for the future on and off the field -- part of the reason the 6-1, 270 pound tackle stopped himself from pulling the trigger.
“I wanted to say it so bad, but I knew that wasn’t the best thing to say right there,” said Pallante laughing. “I think my parents would have been pretty mad at me. But as bad as I wanted to, I think the best thing to do was to thank coach Mattison, sit on it a little bit, and still take the time to discuss it with my parents.”
“The first thing, before I make my decision to go anywhere, I want to sit down with my parents and coach Hoke or any head coach -- just to discuss specific details.”
When Pallante and his family will make it up to Ann Arbor is still up in the air, with Pallante stating it could be as early as spring practice or as late as the summer, whenever time allows for the travel. Regardless, prior to another visit north, the Pallante’s are thinking on the same accord when it comes to Michigan.
“My mom has gone up to see it once up there when we up there for the barbecue during the summer time,” said Pallante. “She absolutely fell in love with coach Hoke and coach Mattison -- those guys are just great guys. She has tons of respect for them and they respect her. She loves that place and feels that if I go up there, they’ll take care of me and get me to where I need to be.”
The idea of a commitment will certainly be the elephant in the room when the Pallante’s meet with the coaches, but another issue preventing from accepting the offer sooner is the fact that he hasn’t seen eeing any other campuses to this point. That’s something the young man would like that to change in the coming months.
“When you get up there (to Michigan) you’re like, ‘oh my gosh, this is the place I need to be,’” Pallante explained. “But with all of that said, I just need to take my time and make sure it’s the right place. I still haven’t visited any other places so I don’t really know what else is out there.”