At 6-1 190 pounds, Minkah Fitzpatrick has put in the work necessary for colleges to notice what he can do on the football field. Now he is reaping college offers, including one from Michigan this past week. That just uncreased his excitment over what lies ahead.
"All of my hard work is paying off," he told GoBlueWolverine. "I just fill really blessed and fortunate because everyone does not have this opportunity before them."
Fitzpatrick recent offer from the Wolverines is something he has been looking forward to for quite some time. Now that he finally has it he wants to continue on building a relationship with his Michigan recruiter.
"I like them a lot and I have been looking for that offer for a long time because I am interested in them and they are interested in me," said Fitzpatrick. "Coach Manning is really a nice guy -- I want to sit down and talk to him in person. I need to call him more so that we can form a better relationship."
Fitzpatrick definitely isn't down on Michigan because of the tough season they had last year. He believes Wolverines will do just fine next year.
"That team next year should be a powerhouse team with the guys that are already there and the guys they have coming in," he said confidently
That belief partially stems from St. Peters Prep defensive back's knowledge about a few of Michigan's commitments. He played in and lost in the state title game to OT Juwan Bushell-Beatty and Jabrill Peppers of Paramus Catholic in New Jersey, and says it is Peppers who he says continues to recruit him for Michigan.
Said Fitzpatrick, "After the game was over Jabrill came over to me and gave me a hug and told me, 'you are coming to Michigan, leave everyone else alone!' The times we see each other he is always telling me something about Michigan."
That pool of "everyone else" has gotten larger recently, as the Wolverines are not the only suitors that threw their hats into the ring for Fitzpatrick's services. He was rather happy about a few other offers as well.
"Florida offered me about 10 minutes before you called -- that is another offer I have been waiting on. Alabama offered me last Wednesday," Fitzpatrick reported. "I like them a lot. They are like DB university. I might be attending their junior day. I have family down there... grandparents and aunts. In February I will be trying to visit Florida, Miami and Florida State. I am trying to make a visit up to see Michigan and Ohio State this summer -- just go to one place one day and then the other the next day. Tennessee, North Carolina and Notre Dame are also in the mix, along with a slew of others."
While recruiting is commanding more of Fitzpatrick's attention, he is still focused on improving his game. He learned a lot this past season about the DB position and the style he wants to play. After playing with the nation's best at the Nike Opening to his high school football season he knows what he wants to do.
"In July at the Opening I learned so much," he said. "Man, there was so much talent -- I was just a sophomore trying to prove I could play. I felt like I played well I was learning a lot from other guys. I learned from Adoree Jackson, DB out of Cali -- he is a superb athlete. Tony Brown, CB from Texas (Alabama commit), is just so physical. And I learned from Malachi Dupre, WR out of Louisiana -- he makes plays all over the field. Watching all of them and then going through the season this year let me know I want to be a physical DB who is a sure tackler with good technique. My coaches might put me at safety (next season), and that will just add more to my game."
He even had the chance to be taught by a pro bowl DB at the Opening, learning things that he certainly enjoyed taking back home with him.
"Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks) was great," Fitzpatrick recalled. "He related to me and talked to me about playing the position. He was teaching me how to bend lower, be smooth, and make sure to be very physical out on the field. I really enjoyed learning from him."
It looks like this summer Fitzpatrick will get a little serious about narrowing things down, and try to get a feel for some of the colleges that he is looking at.
"I will be visiting about 6-10 schools between now and May, then in the early summer narrow my list of schools. I will be looking to decide by the summer, but we will see how things go at that point."
Minkah is excited about the offers that he has received, but there is plenty of work to be done -- both by him and the colleges who are trying to build a relationship with him.
Fitzpatrick excited about his opportunities
The Michigan Insider Top Stories
Watch: Butt 'proud' of career, ready for FSUWatch: Jake Butt reflects on his career at Michigan as he prepares for his final game against Florida State.
The Michigan Insider9:05 AM
Watch: Glasgow still can't 'fathom' OSU lossWatch: Ryan Glasgow still can't 'fathom' Michigan's loss to rival Ohio State.
The Michigan Insider3:44 AM
Oghoufo talks Irish, Wolverines2018 LB Ovie Oghoufo is still committed to Notre Dame, but Michigan among others is in hot pursuit.
The Michigan Insider3:41 AM
Beilein praises defense, Wagner in Texas winMichigan coach John Beilein praises U-M's defense and the play of Moritz Wagner in the Wolverines' 53-50 win against Texas.
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 8:43 PM