“It was pretty crazy,” Ballage said. “509 homes got burned down in my area… just two or three miles away. Everybody was being evacuated while I was on my way up to Michigan. We stopped in Nebraska to see my sister because she goes to Hastings College there. We got the call and we turned around and went right back home.”
“Fortunately, we’re alright.”
That real life circumstance understandably diverted his attention from recruiting. So too did a development on his high school team.
“We’ve got a new head football coach, so I’ve been kind of busy with trying to get the younger kids to buy into the system,” reported Ballage. “I bought in right away because I just want to play football. So I’ve really been with my current team to whole time.”
Lately the Falcon high star has been thinking about hitting the road again. But with a full month now gone from the calendar his plan to visit multiple destinations has taken a hit.
“I’ll try to get (to Ann Arbor) before school starts up again, but we’ll see,” he said. “It’s kind of hectic the way everything happened. But I’ll probably be up there without a doubt. We’re going to try to see what we can do for (the barbecue). I don’t know if I’ll have football, so I don’t know if that’s going to work. We’ll see.”
“All those visits I had planned were kind of in a row after Michigan, so that kind of all got screwed up with the fires and everything. So it’s not just Michigan that I’m going to have to reschedule. It’s a lot of other schools as well.”
A few of those “other schools” reside in the Big Ten and recently added their names to Ballage’s scholarship mix.
“I got an offer from Michigan State and also from Iowa,” he reported. “Then also when I went to the All American camp in Chicago, there was a linebacker there named Tre Williams. He is committed to Auburn. He didn’t know who I was just like every other kid and coach at camp. I kind of went and put my talents on display as best I could, and he really liked the way I played. He wants me to go there and play running back. He put in a good word for me at Auburn.”
“I haven’t gotten to see any of these (new) schools, so I’d hate to just put a school in front of another school just because of their history or anything like that,” he explained. I actually want to see these schools for myself.”
Stay tuned for more from Ballage in the weeks to come.