Chad Simmons

Bateman Puts Michigan at Top After BBQ Visit

Where does Michigan rank in Gadsden (Ala.) High 2017 OT Toryque Bateman's recruitment?

Back for his second visit this summer, this time for Michigan's annual recruiting bonanza “Barbecue at the Big House,” four-star offensive tackle Toryque Bateman admits he’s starting to connect more and more with U-M’s coaching staff and players. 

“The overall vibe, it was fun, it was nice,” he said. “Being around all the players, current players and former players, coaches, it was fun. Everybody was like a family.”

Bateman, who stars at Gadsden (Ala.) High, used the full day of activities as an opportunity to bond with a few Michigan coaches in particular. 

“Working on me was coach Bam (Richards), coach (Tim) Drevno and obviously coach (Jim) Harbaugh,” he said. “Their message was to stay on top of my grades, ACT score and making the correct decision for me.”

Last week, Bateman announced his top-five schools of interest, which included: Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Miami (Fla.) and Memphis. However, after his visit to U-M, Bateman says the Wolverines sit in his ole position in his recruitment.

“Michigan is No. 1 right now overall,” he said, further explaining why. “Just the vibes, I mean, family like atmosphere, it was one of the most fun visits I was on – so why not?”

As far as a decision timeline, Bateman says he’s looking to commit no earlier than the second week of his high school season. Noting, he would commit to his future school based on certain conditions.

“What would make me commit? Other players,” he said. “Just seeing how I stack up, who comes, who don’t come and what other players that I know come to.” Adding: “If I didn’t play football, would I still fit in as a person and as a character at the school.”    

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