Michigan's recruiting roll continued Saturday afternoon when Berrien Springs (Mich.) defensive tackle Phillip Paea became tenth verbal commitment to its 2017 class. The three-star defensive tackle chose the Maize & Blue over offers from Notre Dame, Oregon, Nebraska, Arizona, BYU, Michigan State, and a host of others.
In the end it was his trip to Michigan this weekend for the spring game and junior day that ultimately sealed the deal.
“Definitely it was the relationships around (Michigan),” Paea explained.” “It really means a lot. That was a big part of recruiting for me… the relationships with the coaches and players. The coaches, man… they’re great people. I would love to play for Greg Mattison. That’s what I want to do. Every time see him up here, every time I left… I just couldn’t pass it up again.”
That Paea witnessed redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Bryan Mone stand out as one of Michigan’s top performers during the practices he attended also made an impact. And not just because they play the same position.
“With us being related to each other it was an even bigger factor for me to (commit),” Paea said regarding his cousin. “He always said at the end of the day it’s my decision, but yeah, he (recruited me hard).”
Needless to say, news of Paea’s decision sparked a celebration inside Schembechler Hall.
“Bryan loved it,” the talented youngster said. “He loved it. (The coaches) were real excited. They are really pumped up for me to come. It was a really good feeling.”
With his own recruitment now behind him the newest Wolverine plans to do a little lobbying for another prospect.
Said Paea, “I haven’t really been talking to any other recruits. I’ve just been trying to get my teammate Steven Spenner to get this offer from Michigan. Once he gets the offer he’ll commit so we’ll spend another four years together. It’ll be really good.”
A broken leg quieted much of the buzz that Spenner had garnered early in his career, but the 6-3, 215 pound linebacker has picked up MAC offers thus far and the Wolverines are keeping an eye on him. Paea knows the best way to help his pal is to dominate up front so Spenner is free to make plays. That’s what he expects to do for Berrien Springs next fall, and he plans to make the same kind of impact when he gets to Ann Arbor.
“Michigan fans are going to see relentless intensity on the field from me,” said Paea. “They’re going to see everything. I’m going to give them my all.”
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