Southfield Sleeper Elated Over U-M Offer

2016 Southfield (Mich.) LB Will Small had been flying beneath the radar until a recent call from Michigan changed everything.

Sam Webb:  You reported picking up a Michigan offer recently. Where does that put you offer wise?

Will Small:  “That was my first one.”

Sam Webb:  How did your season go and how things went on the football field for you. 

Will Small:  “I started behind a senior, but I had 30 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.  I had a really good season.”

Sam Webb:  Take me through how things picked up with Michigan.  When did you start hearing from them and that kind of thing?

Will Small:  “Actually one of my first times hearing from them was actually being invited down to Michigan that day to visit for that junior day.  I heard from them once or twice during the season.  When I went down there and I saw Coach Harbaugh and I talked to a lot of the other staff and had a really good relationship with them guys.”

Sam Webb:  You get down to the game, take me through how everything went down.  What did they say to you exactly?

Will Small:  “So we got down for the game and I talked to Coach Harbaugh.  I actually pulled Coach Harbaugh to the side and had a very good conversation with him.  He sat there and told me how he saw my film and I was a good player.  He said I’m a Michigan man and he respects that.  He told me that they were going to offer.  I got the offer the next day when I talked to Coach Chris Partridge and he just relayed the message and told me I was getting offered by Michigan.  That’s when I actually found out.”

Sam Webb:  So what was your reaction when you heard it, just how did you react to it?

Will Small:  “My first reaction was I screamed and I ran to my mom and dad and told them what happened.  It was very exciting.”

Sam Webb:  Did you grow up a fan of any particular school?

Will Small:  “Growing up, my dad and my mom have both been big Go Blue fans.  My uncle has been a notorious Michigan State fan my whole life.  I grew up in a household who loved Michigan.  We tried to go to a lot of Michigan games.  I’ve been around a lot of Michigan posters and Michigan shirts and watching Michigan games with Brady Hoke and all the other coaches that have coached there.  I’ve always loved Michigan.”

Sam Webb:  Let’s talk about your game. Break it down and give me a scouting report.

Will Small:  “My game in particular, I play real physical, I love to hit.  I run a 4.5, so of course my speed is a big factor in that.  I make sure that I play really smart, but of course very player has flaws.  If I make a mistake, I make sure that I make at 110% to make up for that mistake in particular.  If a coach every comes out and sees me, they’ll always see that I will always play to the best of my ability 110% every play and always have that in the back of my mind that I could be the best outside linebacker in the state.  That’s exactly how I play.”

Sam Webb:  What is your height and weight?

Will Small:  “I weigh 205 and I’m 5-11.”

Sam Webb: Since Michigan came to the table, have you noticed other schools showing more interest in you? Do you feel like other schools are going to offer?

Will Small:  “A lot of other interest.  I’m visiting Toledo this weekend, Illinois State I just visited last weekend.  They’re talking about offering now.  I speak with their coaches every day.  Indiana, I just had a conversation with the head coach and linebacker coach over the phone.  I talked to Oregon, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ohio State.  So right now I’ve had a lot of good leeway after the Michigan offer. My recruiter just told me and my family that Michigan State contacted him about me.  I guess I’m starting to get recruited by him.”

Sam Webb:  Let’s pretend for a second you’re getting ready to make your decision, what are going to be the biggest factors?

Will Small:  “I really just want a school that feels like home.  I’m not just looking at football.  I’m looking at a team that acts like a family, comes together as a family.  One of the big things to me and my real family at home is education.  I want to go into law for special education and sports, so of course I’m going to check their law program out.  If it is a good law program and they got a good football team that works around my position and they’re showing a lot of love and I see the school actually likes me and actually have a really good interest in me, I’ll make sure that’ll be a big thing for a school I pick to actually make my decision on.”

Sam Webb:  What about timeline are you going to be one of those guys who waits all the way until signing day to make a decision, do you want to get out of the way sooner than that?

Will Small:  “I’m really not sure at this point.”

Sam Webb:  As far as visits are concerned, do you have any other places that you know that you’re going to take this spring?

Will Small:  “I’m going to Tennessee on April 25th, Vanderbilt on March 21st and I’m going back out to Illinois State and West Virginia and I’m going to Michigan for their spring practice.”

Sam Webb:  What day are you going back to Michigan?

Will Small:  “March 12th.”

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