IMG Academy will quite possibly be the most frequently visited school on the recruiting docket for the Michigan coaching staff next fall. The talent rich program has five prospects with whom the Wolverines are currently in strong standing. One of them is recent Houston (Tex.) Lamar transfer Grant Delpit.
"I feel like (IMG) is the best place for me,” said Delpit. “I can't pass up that opportunity. It's a great opportunity over there. Best coaching staff, best facilities, and if you're trying to play big time football you have to play the best competition (against) four and five stars every day. I think it is just the best place for me."
The four-star safety report to campus in Bradenton after returning home from The Opening in mid-July. Until then much of his attention will be on his recruitment. The four-star safety has amassed nearly 30 offers, and appeared to have narrowed things down to a list of favorites before deciding to reconsider.
"I dropped a top ten, but four schools offered me after I dropped a top ten so I really don't have a top list anymore,” he said with a smile. “(That) mixed it up a little bit."
One school that looks to be surging on his list is the University of Michigan. The Wolverines offered the talented youngster a little over a month ago. By the time he made it out to their satellite camp stop in Houston last week it was clear that the they had made up a lot of ground.
"Michigan is a great school,” said Delpit. “They are towards the top of my list. I talk to Coach Smith almost every day. Text, twitter, (direct message)… just trying to keep in touch. I haven't gotten up there for a visit yet, but I want to get up there as soon as I can."
"Michigan actually… they were like one of the last offers I had. They offered late, so that shows they're not going to offer because another school offered. They want to evaluate me. I need to get up for a visit there. They're at the top of my list."
“Toward the top” or “at the top?” What he probably meant was Michigan is among his yet-to-be announced favorites. Either way it’s safe to assume the Wolverines still have a great deal of work ahead if they’re going pluck this highly coveted centerfielder from the South. Strengthening their chances of doing so will come down getting him on campus for a visit and fortifying his relationships with staff members with whom he has established an early vibe.
"Coach (Brian) Smith was the one that offered me. Coach Partridge came down to see me. Both him and Coach Smith (are Michigan coaches he is connecting with). Just keep in touch with those guys."
"I don't think (a visit) will have to wait for an official. I might get up there for a game or (get up there) sometime this summer. I'll just have to see what time will fit me best."
Other schools will be working just as hard to get on Delpit’s itinerary. Some of them will be seeking return visits.
"I've been all over the country,” he said. “I've been to USC, I've been to Cali, Florida, all the schools in Texas, Louisiana… been to LSU a couple of times. Pretty much everywhere."
LSU has long been the presumed favorite in the eyes of many pundits, and reason why is fairly clear.
"I'm from New Orleans,” said Delpit. “LSU… that's my hometown school. I think that was my childhood favorite school."
Add to that the fact that his grandparents still reside in the Big Easy and would like to see him stay close and you have the recipe for the Bayou Tigers being declared the prohibitive favorites. Delpit, however, insists he is seriously weighing all his options and that there are more important factors in his recruitment than boyhood fandom.
"Somewhere that I fit their defense,” Delpit said explaining his key criteria. “I'm graduating early so I can come in (and) earn some early playing time. Somewhere that I like the coaches, love the coaching staff… somewhere that's a good college town I like…, those type of things."
And distance from home?
“Not (a factor) at all,” he replied. “I'll go wherever fits me best."