If being first to offer carries weight in a recruitment, then Michigan will be in good shape until the very end with Nick Petit-Frere. The Wolverines extended an offer to the Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep offensive tackle in October of his sophomore year. Since then his list has exploded with perennial powers like Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida, LSU, and a host of others joining the fray. Needless to say the flood gates are officially open.
“He had a tremendous year as a junior,” Berkeley Prep coach Dominick Ciao said. “He has just been a dominant player for us and a great leader. I think he’ going to be one of those guys that is going to be special a (left tackle). They just think he is a great finisher. He is a dominant run blocker and has great finesse as a pass blocker. A complete player.”
The four-star lineman isn’t close to naming favorites at this point, but Michigan’s initiative and persistence gives it a good chance of making the cut when that time comes. So too does the deep abiding respect that Berkeley has for the Wolverines’ coaching staff.
“First off I’m a Chicago guy, so I was a big fan of (Jim Harbaugh’s) when he was a Chicago Bear,” said Ciao. “I’ve followed coach a long time. I think he is one of the great coaches in college and pro football. I think he is one of the best. Great respect for him. Wherever he has coached I’ve had great respect for him and his program.”
“Coach (Greg) Frey used to be at South Florida. Coach Frey has recruited the area for a long time. He is a great coach and a great person, so we have great respect for Coach Frey. I’ve gotten to meet Coach (Drevno), and I’ve just been really impressed with him. I’ve known of him for a bit because we had a guy out at Southern Cal. They’re two great coaches and really great people.”
Connections with coaches, however, will just be one box of a few that need to be checked.
“Nick is a tremendous student and we know academics are important,” said Ciao. “I think Nick knows that he also going to play football and football is important to him. His decision will be based on what’s the right fit for him as a football player and as a student athlete.”
Ciao insists distance will play little if any role in his talented pupil’s recruitment. All that appears likely to impact at this point is when he’ll visit some of his farther-away options.
“I think he is going to research what’s really the best for him as a player and as an athlete,” Ciao said. “ I think Nick is a tremendous young man. Him and his mom will figure out the right choice for him.
“He has been to a few (college campuses), but he hasn’t been to many. He is trying to go to a few soon. Maybe one or two over spring break…we’re deciding that… then maybe one or two this summer. It’s a tough choice because he has a lot of opportunities.”
Stay tuned to The Michigan Insider for more on Petit-Frere in the days to come.