To say Michigan’s season hasn’t gone according to plan is an understatement. The disappointing showing on the football field has put the future for the current coaching staff in serious doubt. That has had an undeniable effect on the Wolverines’ recruiting efforts by lessening the interest from prospects that were seriously considering the Maize & Blue, and causing many that were already committed to rethink their decisions.
One youngster that has remained steadfast in his commitment, however, is Lawrenceville (N.J.) Prep standout Grant Newsome. The four-star offensive lineman took his official visit this weekend and came away heartened by the experience.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Newsom. “It was definitely a tough loss on the field, but besides that I think it was really a great visit. I arrived there in the morning on Saturday, got to spend some time with (director of player personnel) Chris Singletary, and kind of hang out in the hotel. We got to catch the game obviously. We had dinner with some of the coaches, we had a few meetings, and then another facility tour.”
"I got to spend time with a lot of (the players). My host was A.J. Williams, (so) I spent a lot of time with A.J. obviously… (also) Blake Countess, Ty Isaac and just a lot of guys. I definitely liked them. They were really impressive guys, not just on the field, but off the field. It was really nice to be able to interact with them especially since I’m committed and they’re going to be my teammates next year.”
Newsome was particularly impressed with the players’ ability to compartmentalize. Though clearly disappointed by their sixth defeat of the year, they were still gracious hosts.
“It’s definitely tough anytime you lose a game no matter what type of season you’re having,” stated Newsome. “I think it’s just tough after a loss. Even within my team it’s tough to be enthusiastic after a tough loss, but it definitely wasn’t morbid or anything like that. Guys were kind of in good spirits Saturday night. I think they’re taking it well, knowing that we should be in a position to rebound the next couple of years.”
Other programs will undoubtedly continue to hover in hopes of eventually coaxing Newsome out of his pledge. For his part he insists that will be a difficult task.
“Obviously I’m going to see how things play out,” said Newsome. “If they were to hire a coach… and this is hypothetical because nothing has happened… but if there was hypothetically someone that I really really didn’t like, then that would be a very very faint possibility (reopening his recruitment). But I committed to Michigan for more than just the coaching staff. Obviously I really enjoy the coaching staff, but it wasn’t the reason I committed there. It’s a factor, but it wasn’t the sole factor. There is a whole lot of Michigan that appeals to me beyond the coaching staff, and beyond Michigan even.”
If Newsome had even slight reservations about that stance they are even fewer after his latest visit.
“I talked with a few of the coaches about (their uncertain futures), but I think my and my family’s take on it is we’re going to control what we can control, and that’s my commitment to Michigan,” Newsome explained. “We’ll see how the cards play out, but I’m still 100% towards Michigan. I just want to go there and try to make an impact.”
“I think Michigan kind of epitomizes the term student-athlete. The institution is a powerhouse athletically, but also academically it is one of the best schools in the nation. Then also just socially for me once I got on campus, met some of the players, and really got a chance to experience Ann Arbor it just really felt like a second home to me. I think that is something that really made the decision (to remain committed) easier for me."
And even though Michigan’s recruiting class is down another notable pledge after Mike Weber’s decommitment yesterday, Newsome remains optimistic about what the future holds for his future team.
“Alex Malzone was there this past weekend unofficially, so that was great,” said Newsome. “I was able to spend a lot of time with him and talk over some things. I’ve been in contact with Chris (Clark) and Jon (Runyan) and some of the other guys… even Mike (Weber). I think we’re in a good place right now and I think within our 2015 class we’re confident about where Michigan is headed as a program.