Damon Arnette’s official visit to Michigan last weekend left an indelible mark on him, but there was still something very important missing from the experience. His family wasn’t there to take it in with him. That made the in-home visit last night by Jim Harbaugh, Greg Mattison, and D.J. Durkin a pivotal element in their quest to move up his list. The Wolverine brass needed to impress Arnette’s family.
They did just that.
“It went well. It went really well,” Arnette said. “My parents really liked what Coach Harbaugh had to say. They felt like Coach Durkin and Coach Mattison knew what they were talking about, but then to also have a coach like Coach Harbaugh leading them… they think Michigan s going to be very successful in these next few years.”
The picture the coaches painted of Arnette’s potential role in that success was extremely enticing.
“They want me to come in as a corner… and if there’s a need (at another position) they think they can move me around,” he stated. “(I could) play nickel, safety… anything. I was up for that idea.”
“They said I would come in fighting for a starting spot.”
After all of that the youngster that has been committed to South Carolina since July, and has been courted by Ohio State (another of his finalists) for over a year has seen his leaderboard suffer a significant shake up.
“It’s a dead tie right now,” said an exasperated Arnette. “I think that everybody has shown me… it’s just a dead tie right now.”
The Gamecocks and Buckeyes will have their chances to sway him over the next two official visit weekends. The Sunshine State star fully anticipates impressive showings by both programs, thus making an already tough decision even tougher.
“That’s when it just comes down to the little things like the dorms, and just picturing myself there for four years,” he explained.
One of the “little things” in Michigan’s favor could be the fast friendship Arnette forged with star Wolverine freshman Jabrill Peppers.
“That’s my dude,” said Arnette. “He is real cool. Real cool. I can just tell he is ready to play."
And in two weeks Arnette might be ready to play with him.