It wasn’t a secret that Michigan was the big leader for Otis Reese heading into his weekend visit to Ann Arbor. From the moment the Wolverines extended the Leesburg (Ga.) Lee Country safety his first major offer his connection with the Maize & Blue had been building. There had been speculation that distance from home might slow the Wolverines momentum, but Reese dismissed that notion entirely.
"I never thought about distance,” he said. “I have a brother that plays at Central Michigan (redshirt freshman Da’Quaun Jamison) so it doesn't matter to me."
No… all that was necessary for the relationship with Michigan to go to next level was for his time on campus to live up to his expectations.
It exceeded them.
"(Committing) wasn't really a (sure thing) before I came. It was maybe 50/50,” said Reese. “But when I got there it was like 100-percent. It was just… I saw the campus and the coaches how they go about their business. I just loved it from the start."
The four-star safety was clearly in awe of the size of the campus, the outstanding facilities, and the program’s rich tradition, but there was one positive attribute that stood above all the rest.
"It was how great the people at Michigan are,” Reese said. “They're great people. They're big into football and it's more than football, it's a lifestyle and after football. Just how nice the facilities are, I'm ready to get down there and play football, make plays."
The coach that sold him on how well he’d fit in Ann Arbor was Scout.com’s 2016 Recruiter of the Year, Chris Partridge. Now in his first year as fulltime assistant his ability to connect with youngsters is an even greater asset. It is largely responsible for Reese’s extreme comfort with the Maize & Blue.
"We have a great relationship,” stated Reese. “We already started watching film. We’re on it. I'm ready to go out there and make plays, ready to play for him. He's a great guy."
During the visit talented youngster discovered a staff full of people that he could relate to just as well, especially Jim Harbaugh.
"Coach is a good, exciting guy,” said Reese. He likes to have fun with it but at the same time it's about business. He's just a good guy, he's a thinker and a strategy guy."
Michigan’s headman was already in full celebration mode when Reese’s teammate Aubrey Solomon decided he wanted in on the commit action also.
"(Solomon) was feeling it but he kind of shocked me,” said Reese. “I didn't know he was going to commit."
"Coach Harbaugh was on the phone with my mom and we were talking about my commitment. Aubrey got on the phone talking to his mom and he said he wanted to commit. It was just like the whole room was lit… full happy emotions. They were jumping around. Actually my receiver coach (who brought them up on the visit) and Coach Harbaugh traded shirts. Coach Harbaugh still has (Lee County) shirt on, and my coach has his on. It was just a happy moment and it was a blessing."
For more from Reese himself on his Michigan commitment, press play above.