Sam Webb: When did you become aware that Michigan had some interest in you?
DaMarkus Lodge: “I became aware at the beginning of the season. But I never really heard anything from them. I just knew that they were interested, coach told me. That was pretty much it.”
Sam Webb: When did you start hearing from them again?
DaMarkus Lodge: “I really haven’t. Coach Funk came by the school today and he watched me work out. He really couldn’t say too much. I called him tonight and he offered.”
Sam Webb: Did you suspect that an offer was coming or when you called him at night and he offered you, did it catch you by surprise?
DaMarkus Lodge: “It was kind of half and half. Me knowing the work ethic that I have and how hard I work and how strong I am and how impressive I look during workouts, I was pretty confident that maybe he would offer. I was surprised that he offered tonight since that was his first time seeing me. I pretty much knew he was going to offer but I didn’t know he was going to offer that quick.”
Sam Webb: What are your initial impressions of Coach Funk? What is the vibe like between you guys? Did he talk about when he might be able to get you up on a visit?
DaMarkus Lodge: “Number one: We started off great. I mean, he was looking at me…he basically told (my coaches), ‘that’s a pretty good looking kid.’ They have a lot of interest in me and they want to get me to Michigan. When I called him, I got on the phone with him and we talked about maybe sometime when I can get up there and visit the campus at all, probably sometime this summer.”
Sam Webb: So what does that do to your interest level in Michigan?
DaMarkus Lodge: “I really have a high level of interest in Michigan. I’ve been watching them over the past couple of years. They have one to the winningest programs in college football. The tradition there is great. I heard the facilities and everything up there is awesome so I definitely want to get up there on a visit. I have a high level of interest in Michigan.”
Sam Webb: I remember, didn’t you say something about really liking Ohio State also?
DaMarkus Lodge: “Yes sir.”
Sam Webb: Have talked to anyone about the rivalry between those two schools?
DaMarkus Lodge: “Oh man, it was actually kind of crazy because Ohio State and Michigan was there today watching me work out. It was pretty crazy. A lot of people were there, U of H, Baylor, OU, Texas Tech, I mean everybody was there today.”
Sam Webb: Tell me this, just a little bit about your season. How did it go for you on the football field . Then from there, kind of talk about your Under Armour experience. Looking back on it, how do you think that went for you?
DaMarkus Lodge: “My season, it was a spectacular season. I broke records this season. I actually broke the receiving touchdown record this season. I believe I had 23 or 24 receiving touchdowns. I had 1265 yards receiving. I had like 200 and something on the ground, three rushing touchdowns. I won a state championship so sounds pretty good.”
Sam Webb: That spectacular season earned you a spot in the Under Armour combine. When I talked to you afterward you felt like you could have done better. Now looking back on it do you feel better about your performance maybe than you did at that particular point in time?
DaMarkus Lodge: “Actually, I don’t. You have to have a short memory to be a good receiver. I really don’t think about it as much but I know I didn’t perform as well. I know I didn’t perform like I would have anywhere else. I’m kind of hard on myself about things like that but I don’t let it get to me. I just make sure that never happens again but I still don’t think my performance there was well at all.”
Sam Webb: Well let’s give people a picture of what you are on your best day. Pretend that you are a scout or a coach in the stands and you’re watching DaMarkus Lodge on the football field. Break down your game, who in college or the pros maybe we might compare you to.
DaMarkus Lodge: “First off, if I was a coach and I was watching myself, I’m thinking man that kid’s a dog. He is fierce and strong every time he does something. I would compare maybe to a Calvin Johnson or a Dez Bryant, you know, that type of receiver.”
Sam Webb: So what is your current height, weight, and 40 time?
DaMarkus Lodge: “I’m 6-3, I am 197 for right now, and the last time I ran a 40, I ran a 4.5.”
Sam Webb: You’ve got 14 offers now, including some big time schools right in your backyard. Are any of those schools sticking out for you at this early point?
DaMarkus Lodge: “No not really. I’m just taking my time with everything. I really haven’t sat down with my family and just looked into anything yet. I know some schools, I already know what they have because like you said they are in my own backyard. But, I really haven’t sat down and thought about what schools are going to lead and anything like that yet.”
Sam Webb: So no favorites at the moment. What about your criteria? What are going to be the big factors in your choice when you pick a school?
DaMarkus Lodge: “Number one, I have to have a father-type relationship with the receiving coach. Number two, I just want to make sure when I get there, everything is a family spirit, I mean, as long as I’m going to be taken care of, I don’t have to worry about anything. I want to make sure the academics there is great. I just want to feel like at home.”
Sam Webb: Do you think you are going to be one of the guys who kind of waits until national signing day your senior year to make your decision?
DaMarkus Lodge: “I’m not too sure. I’ll probably make it sometime during the season. I’m not one of those flashy guys who wants to wait until the All-American game and stuff to do that. I mean, I will probably make it sometime during the season or maybe right after the season.”
Sam Webb: Is distance from your family is that going to be a big factor for you?
DaMarkus Lodge: “No sir, it is not going to play a role in my decision at all. I can go anywhere just as long as wherever I go I am comfortable with. I’m not trying to stay home at all. I mean, I will stay in Texas but that is not going to play a role in my decision.”