There are times when the anticipation of an event is more exciting than the event itself. That wasn’t the case for Garrett Taylor during his visit to Michigan last weekend. The four-star corner had lofty expectations for his first trip to Ann Arbor. Upon leaving he quickly realized that every one of them had been exceeded.
“It was great,” said Taylor. “We got there Friday and we toured the campus. It was really personable. We got to go to the school of business… the Ross School of Business, which is really great. The professor toured us around, which was really great. I’ve never had that before. So we toured around, saw the classrooms and stuff like that. It was really personal. We obviously toured all the facilities and the football facilities are great. We got to see all the resources they have in terms of their Glick Fieldhouse. That was big to see a full indoor field, especially with the weather. They go over there sometimes and to have that as a resource is really good. We got to see the weight room. Then we met with Shari (Acho), the head lady of all the academic support so that was great to see. We got a tour of the academic side. You’ve definitely got the support of the tutors and everything like that to make sure that you’re on track academically. It was awesome. It was awesome! It really felt like they wanted me to be up there. They cared about my visit and took the time and put in the effort to make it a good one.”
Accompanied by both his mother and father, Taylor found that his connection with the people at Michigan elicited many of the same feelings in him that he has when he is around his own family.
“My interaction with the coaches was really great.,” he said. “Obviously Coach Manning is my recruiting coach and my position coach, which actually works out really well. I’ve already built a relationship with him. Then from there on. I got a chance to meet the rest of the coaching staff and that was Coach Mattison. We talked with him for 30-45 minutes, not on just football but other stuff, which was good. It was Coach Mattison and all the other coaches.”
“Coach Mallory… It was good to talk to him. It is kind of funny because Coach Manning kind of chuckled a bit because Coach Mallory wants me to become a safety. They kind of fight over that, which is kind of funny. We definitely had a good time with Coach Hoke. We got to sit down with the family and talked to them and that went really well. We had a really good talk. Not even like the main coaches, the offensive coaches I met too, Coach Nussmeier, I know he is new there, but I met him a couple of times. We joked around and even some of the assistants…I was messing around and having a good time. It really felt like a family atmosphere and someplace I can definitely see myself.”
The family-feel was enhanced even more by his instant rapport with the players. That was due in large part to the pre-existing connections he has with a couple of current Wolverines.
“Wilton Speight was my host,” Taylor said referring to the former Richmond (Va.) Collegiate standout. “I played against him actually in high school. I went off and stayed with him. I know his roommate, Drake Harris, the receiver, I got to stay with too. I met with a couple of defensive players. I saw (former Richmond Hermitage) star Derrick Green up there, which was cool and a couple of other guys. So definitely got to interact with players. They welcomed me with open arms and definitely felt like they were excited to have me up there and wanted to show me a good time.”
As impressed as he was with the program, there was a chance that distance and weather could have been mitigating factors. But when the curtain fell on his visit they were anything but.
“As far as the distance, it is actually really nice because the travel there is really easy,” Taylor said. “We took a direct flight from Richmond to Detroit, which is like an hour flight. So the flight was really fast, really convenient, one way. You don’t have any connectors or anything. We went straight from Richmond to Detroit. When we landed in Detroit and got the rental car to drive to Ann Arbor, it was only like 30 minutes. All in all, the traveling and the distance, even though people think Michigan is far away from Richmond, when you put together all the traveling, it is only an hour and a half in total. That was actually a great help to see that, so my parents could definitely get up there easily and probably make it there more often. “
“The weather was rough (laughter). We flew into Detroit and it was like four degrees or something like that. When we got out, I had never been somewhere so cold. It didn’t do anything to negatively affect my opinion. Everywhere you go you’ve got to deal with some sort of weather, whether you go down south, it is too hot, up north is too cold. You are going to have to deal with some sort of extreme weather when you go places. The weather really didn’t do anything negatively.”
All told, the Wolverines now sit in very strong position with a decision potentially on the horizon. How and when he will announce his choice is on the verge of being determined at this very moment.
“I’m sitting down with my coach tomorrow and I’m definitely going to see when decision time comes what the best way to do that would be. Definitely when my coach and I talk about it and we figure out a way to kind of announce it and let everyone know.”