Most unofficial visits last a day… two tops. So when Houston (Tex.) Alief Elsik teammates Chris Brown and Dontavious Jackson arrived in Michigan on the Friday before the Wolverines’ annual spring game and flew out the following Wednesday it represented a unique opportunity. Jim Harbaugh & company would have the chance to show the talented duo everything the school had to offer. And even though an Easter holiday with family in South Bend (Ind.) and an unofficial visit to Michigan State were sandwiched between the time in Ann Arbor, it was clear the Wolverine experience left most indelible mark.
“I liked (the Michigan visit),” Brown’s father Cornell stated. “I thought it was pretty cool. I liked everything about it. We got a tour. They answered all my questions concerning education. I enjoyed talking to the coaches. There were a lot of things that were perfect.”
One of those things was the interaction was with the staff. Thanks to the length of the visit he was able to connect with multiple staff members.
“I think we spent equal time with all of them,” Mr. Brown stated. “There was no particular pitch. I like all the coaches. If Harbaugh keeps all those coaches intact, (look out). That’s what I’m worried about. Is he going to keep them together? That’s my concern.”
That’s where faith in the headman comes in. Faith that the players in his stead will be taken care regardless of the staff members that come and go, and faith in his ability to hire comparable replacements should the need arise. The foundations for that kind of trust was definitely established during the visit.
“He seems like a family man and an outgoing guy,” Mr. Brown said of Harbaugh. He’s real… he’s not putting on a fake face. I’ve talked to a lot of college coaches and some of them you can read them right off the bat, but this guy is real genuine.”
That positive impression alone was enough to put Michigan in very strong standing in the younger Brown’s recruitment, but the favorable experiences didn’t end there.
“I thought (the academic presentation) was awesome,” stated Mr. Brown. “I like the organization of program…the way they organize the kids and the study rooms. I like how they have (academic support for student athletes) separated from everything else. I like that.”
Anywhere else I’ve been, they talk about (academics). They rush you through (the presentation), and that’s it.”
All that was needed to cap the trip off was a Michigan offer, and Harbaugh made sure Brown had one before he left town. The Wolverines joined Michigan State, Missouri, Duke, Louisville, and a host of others on his growing offer list. But more importantly it created another option for Jackson and he to possibly be teammates again on the next level.
“Dontavious loved it too,” Mr. Brown said. “They both loved it. They didn’t have one bad thing to say about it. The (Michigan) fans really (turned) their heads. The fans turned them out. ‘Give me an autograph! Give me your picture!’”
“Man, I wanted to pack up and move (laughter).”
If the Wolverines were recruiting dad this recruiting race might well be over.
“On a scale from one to ten, because nobody is perfect, I’d give Michigan visit a nine.”
When asked if there were any other nines he didn’t hesitate.
“No, no (laughter). I’m being totally honest.”
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for part two of this feature during which Mr. Brown lays out the factors that will play into his son’s decision, his timeline, and more.