It has been a whirlwind year for the Myers family. Just six months ago Josh Myers was beginning his first year in high school -- learning his way around the building and getting acclimated to his new team like any other freshman. But from there some major differences between him and others in his class became much more noticeable. For one thing the talented youngster stands 6-5 and weighs in at 275-lbs. Pair that size with his on-field aggression and you have the recipe for what turned out to be an outstanding start to his prep career.
“I think it went great,” said Myers. “We went 7-3. I started at left guard and that was honestly the big thing that I wanted to do, coming into my freshman year that was my goal and I was just really happy to achieve that and play for a good team with great coaches.”
College coaches were so impressed that many of them took the exceptional step of extending a scholarship offer before his first year of high school was even complete. With all of the attention coming his way so soon, Myers’ parents have taken a very proactive role in managing his process by corresponding directly with coaches. Now they’re making it a point to get out and meet many of those coaches face to face.
The Myers family traveled to Ann Arbor Sunday for a recruiting day aimed at rising freshmen and sophomores. When the curtain fell on the afternoon Josh had left town with a Michigan offer in tow.
“It is hard to fathom that to be really honest about it,” Myers’ father stated. “We were caught a little bit off guard, but we’re very excited. We had a great day with the coaching staff. Just felt very comfortable and things went as well as it could have gone. We were thrilled with the visit and thrilled for Josh to get the offer.”
“It was a great feeling,” Josh added. “I was caught off guard. I wasn’t really expecting it going in it with a program as big as Michigan, you just never really know. I was really excited about it.”
There was a lot packed into the day – tours of the facilities including the Big House, academic presentations, and a sold out basketball game. While each of those experiences proved to be memorable, the interactions with the coaches were what stood out most.
“I had briefly talked to Coach (Mark) Smith, but that was by far the first time I met their whole staff,” said Josh. “I spent a lot of time with Coach Hoke, Coach Funk, the O-line coach, and I spent a lot of time with Coach Smith too because he is the recruiter of the Dayton area. Those were the coaches I probably spent the most time with.”
“It was amazing,” Mr. Myers stated. “I thought the entire staff was very friendly, very welcoming. I thought what you saw was what you got. My wife and I were incredibly impressed with the entire staff.”
The chance to connect with his would-be position coach was especially impactful for Josh.
“I really liked (Funk),” he said. “He was a very nice guy. He presented a family kind of attitude that they have at Michigan. He was just really nice. He seemed like a great guy. The fact that he believes in me enough to offer me this early, being such a big school, really, really spoke to me and I was excited.”
Michigan joined Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky on Myers’ early offer list, and others will surely add their names to that ledger in the coming months and years. Based on the amount of interest the Buckeyes have shown in the in-state star, Ohio State will presumably be among them. An obvious question for any youngster growing up within the Scarlet & Gray borders is does he have a longstanding allegiance to OSU?
“I went to the University of Kentucky and played at the University of Kentucky, and my wife played basketball at the University of Dayton,” Mr. Myers explained. There are no direct ties to Ohio State. To be honest, for us I think it is more about finding that fit that. We love the family atmosphere, we love people who do it right. Academics come first, so that’s something that we’re definitely looking for.”
Finding that right mix is not a process the Myers family plans to rush. With so much time before their son has to even think about making a college choice, their current focus is on increasing their familiarity with the schools recruiting him.
Said Mr. Myers, “next weekend we’re going to the University of Kentucky, then we’re going to Ohio State, and then March 1st we’re going to Tennessee.”