Tyus Battle is a Wolverine.
At the end of the day, that simple little sentence immersed in fact is all that matters as John Beilein and the Michigan basketball program secure the biggest fish since arriving in Ann Arbor back in 2007.
The news comes immediately following a weekend official visit with the Wolverines, a trip that began with no end in sight in the recruitment of the five-star wing out of Gill (N.J.) St. Bernard’s, that belief changing quickly according to Battle’s father Gary.
“We weren’t really sure with the direction we were going to go until we went there,” Battle’s father said. “It was really probably Duke, Louisville, Connecticut, Syracuse, with Duke and Louisville having the lead.
“And then we went (to Michigan) and I could tell Tyus just fell in love with the place, his body language. That’s my kid, and I told his mother when we went back and kind of decompressed after a long day, I said, ‘I think this is the spot for him.’ And this is prior to me having any conversation with Tyus. That was after the first night that I kind of knew.”
Battle stands 6-foot-6, 195-pounds and comes in ranked as the No. 10 overall prospect in the nation in the class of 2016, currently listed as a small forward.
Friday night the Battles were treated to dinner before spending all day Saturday focused 100-percent on academics and the varying resources the University can provide to its student-athletes.
After being wined and dined and adequately brought up to speed on student life at the University of Michigan, next came the presentation on the court, already leaving Battle supremely confident with where the Wolverines stood for his son.
“We hadn’t done any basketball and I said to my wife, ‘the only way they can blow this right now is if they screw up the basketball.’” Battle said laughing. “And that was my thought process. The next day we went to the gym, the practice facility and they went through how they would play with him.
“He would play the two, guard spot, ball handling, playmaker, shooter, and showed the way he would be in terms of their thought process. They actually went through and Beilein kind of showed us like John Madden on the board.
“Then the coaches actually went on the court and walked through plays. LaVall jordan was Tyus and then we went to the board room and sat down to talk about the depth chart. I could tell at that point, it was confirmation for me, that I knew my son was ready.”
Returning home Sunday, taking some time to digest the entire visit to Michigan, Battle began the discussion about the next step in this recruiting process.
“I asked him, ‘how are you feeling?’” Battle said. “He said, ‘I feel like I want to go.’ It was simple as that.”
“He called coach last night himself,” added Battle. “He was upstairs talking to him on the phone and then he came downstairs smiling, happy with his decision, happy with the coaches reaction. We were home as a family and we’re excited for him. I was a little nervous, had a little pit in my stomach cause he is a hard worker and I just had nervous energy. Today, I’m just happy that he’s going to be a Wolverine.”
Battle goes with Michigan over offers from other schools such as Connecticut, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Syracuse, as well as Duke and Louisville, both of whom received official visits from Battle in mid April.
Back and forth in his own mind about which school and program could be the proper landing spot for his son, Battle believes Michigan epitomizes and possesses everything the family identified as important.
“First of all, Tyus is a different kind of kid, meaning this is a very serious thing for him,” Battle said. “I’m not saying it’s not serious for anybody else but he went through this with a fine tooth comb and I was the lead in that in terms of gathering information, regurgitating some of the things coaches have said to me when I’m talking to him.
“We went there, and they wowed us with their diligence, their attention to detail, their campus, the administration, the coaching staff being completely in sync with the direction, and everything in the program,” Battle added. “The kids topped it off cause Tyus was seeing those kids are similar to him and that was really important to him. I was the veto guy, and I could not veto this. I couldn’t agree with him more that it was a fit.”