Jim Harbaugh’s old stomping grounds in California have been a huge focus on the recruiting trail for the Michigan coaching staff. One of the Golden State prospects they have been keeping tabs on Dublin (Calif.) junior offensive guard Matthew Gutwald.
The Wolverines have recently made connected with the 2016 sleeper and the interest is definitely mutual.
“I have heard from Michigan just a little,” Gutwald told The Michigan Insider. “Coach Drevno followed me, so it’s been brief. I was actually born in Michigan and live in the Bay area, so you’d think I’m the perfect fit for Harbaugh, but we will see. I am a Harbaugh fan. Not necessarily a 49er fan (laughter). I’m actually a Lions fan. I visit my family every summer there, so I don’t see why not (he wouldn’t visit Michigan).”
“Most of my family lives in Michigan and I was born there, so I visit twice a year. (It) would be a great fit in the program with me coming from the Bay back home to Michigan just like Harbaugh.”
With early offers from Oregon, Arizona, Oregon State, Washington State, San Jose State, Air Force, Brown and Davidson, the physical mauler already has strong a few strong options, but he’s definitely hoping to add other.
“(It would be) a really big deal to me and my family (if Michigan offered),” said Gutwald. “They are a major program and I don’t doubt Harbaugh’s ability to turn the program around. I would visit and if I was sold that it is the place I could play for five years, then I’d commit.”
That doesn’t mean that Gutwald would be a slam dunk for the Maize & Blue. The 6-4, 275-pounder is currently very high on a few closer-to-home options.
“I’m just getting rolling with the offers, but my top schools are Stanford, UCLA, USC, California, Arizona and Oregon,” he said. “I’ll camp at Stanford and maybe the LA schools if they offer. I’ll visit Oregon no matter what. I’m not ruling any schools out right now.”
That open-minded approach should allow his scholarship list to grow in the coming weeks and months. The two-star prospect possesses to type of mentality coaches are looking for on the interior line.
“I’m very violent, aggressive and hard-nosed football player,” said Gutwald. “I am really fast off the ball and am an excellent man blocker. I am putting an emphasis on technique this off-season, but I never give up on a play and find weaknesses in the man across from me. I’m still working on my technique and second level blocking. I could always get stronger too.”