Talk of Michigan experiencing a potential in-state recruiting domino effect has picked up steam in recent days. Most of the chatter involves 2016 Farmington (Mich.) teammates Desmond Fitzpatrick and David Reese, but some of it has also come to include names like Donnie Corley, Khalid Kareem, and Matt Falcon. Most agree that the most likely scenario consists of Fitzpatrick/Reese package deal, but talk involving the others isn’t totally baseless.
“That’s probably from Little League,” Falcon explained. “I played with Khalid Kareem in Little League. We grew a relationship back in seventh and eighth grade and just carry it over to high school. We see each other at all the camps and stuff, so we grew close.”
“(Talk of going to the same school) comes up, but everyone is doing their own thing right now. We’ll see where it goes.”
In Falcon’s case there is a list of criteria for selecting a school that has nothing to do with where his in-state brethren go.
“It is going to come down to me and my parents feeling that (a school) will be the best fit for me for the next four years of my life,” Falcon stated. “We’re going to look at academics first. I want to be a physical therapist. Second we’re going to look at depth chart. I want to come in and try to play my freshman year. From there it’s just the relationship that I build with the coaches.”
Those factors are consistently harped upon by the people that he has come to rely upon most during the recruiting process.
“My mom, dad and Coach (Reggie) Wynns... those are really the three people that I let into my circle,” said Falcon.
“My dad is just telling me not to get caught up in the propaganda. Actually see the colleges for what they are. Get to know the coaches for who they are as (people), not just as a football coaches so I don’t go there and (feel like) I made the wrong decision a year later. My dad is just telling me to really humble myself and look at the reality of things.”
“(Wynns) is saying kind of the same thing as dad. He likes the concept of big fish small pond, but he’s going to support me wherever I go. He tells me to find out who people really are.”
That’s where visits come in. Falcon plans to be in Ann Arbor Saturday for Michigan’s spring game. It’s a great opportunity for the coaching staff to build on the positive first impression made during a prior visit.
“Harbaugh is a real down-to-earth coach,” said Falcon. “He is really about his business. He strives for excellence, so everything he does, he tries to be perfect at it. That’s what makes him such a good coach. I got a good vibe from Coach Harbaugh.”
A connection of even greater importance will be that which he forges with his would-be position coach. That definitely is among Wynns’ strongest messages. That bodes well for the Maize & Blue considering Wynns opinion that Tyrone Wheatley “is the best running backs coach in the country.” Falcon is busy developing his own opinion.
“I talk to Coach Wheatley quite a bit,” Falcon said. “We talk on the phone (and) we talk through Twitter. I’m building a relationship with Coach Wheatley. He wants me bad.”
So too do a number of other schools, including current leader Tennessee. Whether Michigan’s can catch its out-state competition will depend largely upon the bond the four-star runner develops with Wheatley. It’s not yet strong enough for the Wolverines to move to the top. That, however, may be a temporary state.
“(The relationship is not strong enough) yet,” Wynns interjected. “They are communicating off and on. They talk back and forth, so that relationship is getting built.”
For Michigan’s sake the sooner that relationship is strengthened the better. While there is no firm decision timeline, his trip to Ann Arbor this weekend and the one Knoxville later this month could move his recruitment closer to a conclusion
“After I visit Tennessee I’ll see what I want to do from there,” he said. “Really I don’t know (when a decision will be made). After I visit Tennessee I’ll have a clear mindset on everything.”