Jim Harbaugh inked arguably his best recruiting class since arriving in Ann Arbor, which was filled with talent from top to bottom. While Michigan was able to sign players from all over the country and even Canada in this 30 man class, there was also a big emphasis of dominating in-state recruiting.
The same can be said for the walk-ons coming in and one of the major coups was the Wolverines getting Mount Pleasant (Mich.) 2017 offensive guard Sean Fitzgerald to stay home by accepting a preferred walk-on offer over his Air Force scholarship.
“I have been a Michigan Man my whole life, so once they gave me an opportunity it was an easy decision to decommit,” Fitzgerald told The Michigan Insider. “I committed to Air Force back in June and I was completely set on Air Force, then about three weeks ago Michigan got in touch and told me that they loved my film and offered me a preferred walk-on spot. At first all I heard was walk-on and I was stressed out about how I would be turning down a full ride to pay for everything. I went on a visit the 28th and got all of my questions answered and at the end of the day I know it was the best choice for myself and my family. I wake up to a huge M on my Wall every morning since I was a kid, some of my first memories is watching Michigan Football with my Grandpa. I just want to contribute any way possible.”
Fitzgerald grew up idolizing the Maize and Blue and have many fond memories, but one game really resonates with him the most.
“(I would say) 2011 the last time I watched Michigan beat Ohio State with my Grandpa before he passed. Every game I watched, I always watch the lineman and I loved to watch Taylor Lewan finish his blocks. I remember he played really well that day. It kind of takes me back when I think about how great of a day it was to watch football with my Grandpa, especially when Michigan beat Ohio State.”
Although it didn’t take much to change his mind due to his strong affinity towards Michigan, the opportunity to meet and talk with the headman himself, Jim Harbaugh was a moment he’ll never forget and made his decision that much easier.
“I had some breakfast with him and it was a surreal feeling when I shook hands with him,” said Fitzgerald. “I mean I never thought I would ever have the chance to play for him. He called me a big square fella and we just talked about what was going on. He definitely has a great and fun personality. He is enthusiastic about Michigan and I definitely love that about him.”
The Wolverines also have had some recent walk-on success stories in the Glasgow brothers. Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno got to work with one of them in former Wolverine and current Lions offensive lineman Graham Glasgow and Fitzgerald hopes he can become the next.
“Coach Drevno is the best coach that I could ask for,” said Fitzgerald. “He has coached in the league and when I went down for my visit he made it clear that he coaches the guys like it's a NFL team. I was excited to play in the triple option at Air Force, but you can't beat Michigan and the opportunity the play for Coach Drevno.”
At 6-foot-3, 295-pounds, Fitzgerald is projected to work on the offensive line, but noted there’s a possibility he might rep at defensive tackle as well. Wherever he does rep at, he plans to make his presence felt despite not having all the stardom entering Michigan.
“I know that I don't have the stars, but I have the tape to prove that I belong,” said Fitzgerald. “I make up for the stars by finishing blocks and then some. I don't just stand there and push, I want my guy on the ground every play. I am beyond excited to work with the best coaches and players in the country.”
With the recruiting process all over, he’s now more than ready to start his journey in Ann Arbor and give the Maize and Blue his everything.
“As a little kid I dreamed about playing in the Big House,” said Fitzgerald. “I have always loved Michigan Football and to officially be a Wolverine is a blessing from God. Words can't describe the pride I feel. I will give Michigan everything that I have got.”