Signing day has arrived which means the 2017 recruiting cycle can finally come to a close.
Like every year, it came with its fair share of storylines.
One of the recruiting storylines that impacted Michigan was whether four-star safety J'Marick Woods would see his commitment to the Wolverines through until his early enrollment date. While U-M did see some competition from the likes of Arkansas and Mississippi State, the long-time Wolverine commitment decided to stick it out and head north to Ann Arbor.
Woods spoke exclusively to The Michigan Insider prior to national signing day and gave his thoughts on why sticking with U-M was the right choice for him.
“Michigan has the opportunity for me to excel on and off the field," Woods told The Michigan Insider. "It's got the networking and connections on and off the field [to prepare me] for the NFL. Whenever I go into my career in business off the field, with the Ross School of Business being a top five school in the nation, it just really set up my future.”
One of the staff members that was key to bringing Woods to Ann Arbor was U-M running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley. Wheatley was a known commodity on the recruiting trail, making connections with recruits all over the country and often times being the key factor in landing a pledge from a recruit.
However, shortly before Woods and the rest of the early enrollees were to head to campus, Wheatley left the program to head back into the coaching ranks of the NFL.
While Wheatley's decision to leave U-M hurt Woods, it won't deter him from putting in the work as a Wolverine.
“It definitely hurt seeing Coach Wheatley go out the door because he was a big part of my recruitment," Woods said. "But at the same time, we got to do what’s best for us and he did what’s best for him and I got to do what’s best for me.”
Adjusting to a college schedule and a next level weight and conditioning program are obvious adjustments players need to make fresh out of high school. For Woods, the biggest shock for him has been the Michigan winters. A player from Alabama doesn't see many poor winters during his lifetime unless he heads up north.
“It’s the weather, man," Woods said about his adjustment to college life. "The weather really. Being from down south, we don’t get snow like down here. This is really my first experience with snowing 3-4 inches and walking to class in the snow, so it’s my first time experiencing it. I knew I couldn’t let a little weather stop me from achieving my goals and my dreams. I knew the weather part is something that I just had to get used to.”