Based on everything Michael Dwumfour had heard about Michigan prior to his official visit, the bar for his expectations had been set extremely high. His best friend Rashan Gary and Gary’s mom Jenifer Coney raved about the combination of academics and athletics in Ann Arbor. Another of Dwumfour’s good friends (and also a former teammate at DePaul Catholic) Kareem Walker was so impressed with everything that Michigan has to offer that he committed to the Wolverines.
When Dwumfour finally had the chance to experience the Maize & Blue for himself last weekend, he found all the fuss to be extremely warranted.
"It was great,” Dwumfour said reflecting upon his visit. “Me and my parents, we loved everything about it, the coaches, the players, the people there and especially the education. It's top notch there so, we loved it."
Much of their enjoyment stemmed from the instant rapport Dwumfour forged with the players and coaches. There was no mistaking just how much the Wolverines want the talented youngster to be a part of the family.
"Coach Harbaugh is a down to earth guy, very humble guy,” said Dwumfour. “For him to be who he is, it spoke volumes about his character that we got to meet his family. He's just a great guy overall. My parents loved him and he promised that if I come there he would take care of me as his own, so it was great."
"Coach (Don) Brown and Coach (Greg) Mattison, individually, took me to their rooms to watch film and show me how they expect to use me. Coach Brown, I like his defense because it's similar to what I played in high school. He likes me as a one tech, nose guard and he likes the way I penetrate. He moves his linemen around. They're not just staying in one gap. He has them twisting and all of that. Coach Mattison likes my quickness and how I come off the ball. They both like me playing inside so I have no problem doing that with the big boys."
As strong as the connection was with the coaches, it may have been even stronger with the players. Dwumfour expected to have a good time with Walker (who enrolled at Michigan last week), but he was surprised by how quickly he bonded with other team members.
"The vibe with the other guys was great,” Dwumfour said. “I mostly spent time with Mo Hurst, the starting nose guard there, so I have a great relationship with him. And a lot of the other guys I met. We met (Amara) Darboh and (Jehu) Chesson. They're both from Africa and my family is from Africa… from Ghana so… so it helped out a lot explaining how it is there. That was fun."
Walker’s testimonial proved to be just as impactful if not more so.
"The main thing that stuck out to me about what (Walker) said is the way the coaches treat us when we come to visit with our parents, they stay the same when our parents leave and when it's just them,” stated Dwumfour. “I was glad to hear that because it just shows the coaches are real. He says it's impossible not to do well at Michigan because of the academic support and support you get overall. It's impossible to fail. You have to try to fail.”
If there was a clincher for what was described as the perfect weekend, it was the academic presentation the Wolverines put on.
"We spent a lot of time with (academic advisors),” Dwumfour said. “They gave us a tour of the academic center and we met with a professor. She just broke down what life is going to be like as a student-athlete my freshman year. Overall, we just got a great look at what it is to be a Michigan student-athlete."
All told, the Wolverines hit every single mark. Before the visit Dwumfour suggested such a showing would likely prompt him the switch his commitment from Penn State to Michigan.
So why didn’t he?
"The main reason why I didn't flip is because my coach at my high school wants me to (handle my recruitment) in a respectful way,” Dwumfour explained. “If I am going to flip it's not going to be on a visit. It would be either be this week or next week… I'm not sure yet. I'm having a visit tomorrow with Penn State and I’m just going to have a normal conversation. If they bring up Michigan then I'll tell them all about (where things stand), but (if I choose Michigan) I'm not going to make a flip until my coaches tell me it's the right time."
"What it's going to come down to is where me and my family feels is right for me. We're going to pray about it and see how things go. If I feel my heart is at Michigan then I'll go to Michigan. If I feel my heart is at Penn State then I'll go to Penn State."
Once that decision is made all of Dwumfour’s attention will shift to finishing on a strong academic note.
"I'm very close (to qualifying),” he said. “I’m not there yet. I still have to finish up a few things, but I will be eligible either for Michigan or Penn State."
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