The competition for the commitment of 2014 Long Beach (Calif.) Poly wing Kameron Chatman is as heated as any recruitment in the country. Putting out a list of seven schools at the end of April that included the likes of Arizona, Oregon, Connecticut, Washington, UCLA, Louisville, and Michigan, Chatman took an unofficial visit to USC this spring as well and has recently been receiving interest from the Duke Blue Devils.
Flying out to Michigan for an unofficial visit weekend with the Wolverines, and to officially receive a scholarship offer from coach John Beilein, the Chatman’s were surprised when a call came through from the Michigan State Spartans, a program showing no interest in nor having any prior contact with the four-star talent.
“It’s funny, shoot -- we never heard from Michigan State until we landed in Detroit,” Chatman’s father told GoBlueWolverine. “When we landed in Detroit, that’s when we heard from Michigan State. I mean, that’s fair, we understand the game and everything.
“But the reality is that Michigan State was trying to get us to come to Lansing, wanted us to get there with coach Izzo and everybody and it’s like, when you’re reactionary like that, you just don’t know how genuine that is.”
Hoping to secure a visit from Chatman while the west coast native was within driving distance of East Lansing, the Spartans were unsuccessful in their overtures. In fact, the gesture itself appears to have inadvertently enhanced the already strong relationship the Chatman’s have been able to forge with the Michigan coaching staff over the past year.
“The thing about Michigan, they’ve always been above board,” said Chatman’s father. “They’ve always been in front of the eight ball -- it hasn’t been reactionary. They’ve been proactive in everything they’ve been doing, and, to be honest, we just don’t need any song and dance.
“They are who they are, we believe in them, and really it was just a matter of figuring out, do you guys believe in my son? And we walked away from that knowing that they absolutely do believe in him.”
More important than walking over to see Michigan Stadium or the digitized thumb print for room access inside the Wolverines player development center, Chatman’s parents are looking to identify with a coaching staff, knowing full well wherever their son ends up, they’ll take good care of him.
After spending two days in and around the program, an even greater level of trust has been established between the Chatman’s and Michigan.
“It’s more so about the who than the what,” Chatman’s father said. “I don’t think there’s anything Michigan could have showed us that we would have been like, ‘oh man.’
“At the end of the day it’s more important for us to know who my wife and I are passing our son off too and being comfortable being 2,000 miles away from him and knowing that they got his back, and knowing that if anything is going down or if there is any problem or anything, that they’ve got it handled. Walking away from that, we felt that this is a place, this is a coaching staff that -- I feel they walk the walk and they’re not just blowing smoke up our butt.”