Michigan has been hot on the trail of Washington D.C. Friendship Academy, Jalen Tabor for well over a year now, but recently the Wolverines seemed to be fading from contention. To revive their chances they needed to get the talented youngster on a visit. Thanks to an assist from Friendship Academy Coach, Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, the Wolverines were able to just that. And in addition they got a look at a rising prospect on their target list.
“Every year we take all the 2014s (rising seniors) on a week of college tours,” Abdul-Rahim explained. “Michigan was one of the schools we visited. They were extremely hospitable to all of the kids. They’re really only recruiting two of them – they want Daejuan Funderburk and Jalen Tabor. But they treated everybody with a lot of respect. It was a great experience.”
The trip also gave Abdul-Rahim to settle a little score with Michigan headman, Brady Hoke.
“I graduated from San Diego State, which is where Brady coached last,” Abdul-Rahim. “I gave him a little bit of a hard time because I was a little upset that he moved on (laugher). But we’ve moved on from that now.”
All jokes aside, Hoke & company made good impressions on both their targets. The question of how good is one that will be answered once the tour that also featured stops at Penn State, Pitt, Akron, Bowling Green, Ohio State, and Ohio ends.
“I think it is always good for a kid to actually (visit) the university and really see the ins and outs of a program,” explained Abdul-Rahim. “It always enlightens a kid and may possibly change views. I haven’t really sat down and talked with Jalen about where (the schools) stand right now because we’re still on the road, but I felt like (the Michigan visit) was extremely positive.”
“I’m not sure right now (what Tabor’s decision timetable looks like). It could possibly go to the end, but I’m not sure because this trip may change a lot. He got a chance to see Ohio State and was impressed with them as well. It could open his eyes and make it an even longer process because of the good schools he has been to.”
Funderburk’s process may get similarly altered. The three-star defensive back’s stock appears to be on the rise.
“He has (offers from) West Virginia, Wisconsin, Maryland, Tennessee, Miami, Kentucky, Arizona, Rutgers… he has some really good offers,” stated Abdul-Rahim. “He is a prototype free safety. He 6-1, 190 at 16, so he is still growing and developing, but is already an extremely gifted athlete. Real rangy kid that when the ball is in the air, he attacks the football. He is a downhill type of tackler that welcomes contact.”
Michigan’s interest has definitely been piqued and with further evaluation it could intensify.
“They’re saying that he is close (to an offer),” Abdul-Rahim reported. “I envision that it will be coming pretty soon since they’ve been able to eyeball him. He had the opportunity to meet with Coach Hoke and I think he is pretty high on their list.”