Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Anthony Solomon had heard a lot of great things about Michigan from family friends Devin Bush Sr. and Devin Bush Jr., but he wanted to see for himself if it lived up to the hype. During his visit to Ann Arbor last Friday he found out that it definitely was.
“I hung out with Coach Bush a lot,” said Solomon. “I was speaking with little Bush, too, for a little bit. I hung out with Coach Bush the entire time I was there. It was nice. At first it was a little bit chilly but I kind of got used to it and it got a little warmer. So it was nice.
"My first impression of Michigan's campus is that everybody was nice. People who didn't even know me were kind, it was kind of warm. Michigan campus is crazy. You can't really tell what part of the campus and what part is the city which is what I like. I walked around a lot, I saw the libraries… the libraries are pretty cool. There are a lot of historic buildings that have been around for a long time. I like how the campus mixes the old with the new. This was my first actual visit and it sure really sets the standard for any visit I take."
Solomon’s mother accompanied him on the trip and came away with a similar view.
"My mom probably had more fun than I did,” he said laughingly. “She sure did enjoy the experience. She liked it a lot."
Even after stepping away from campus Solomon noticed what appeared to him to be Michigan’s omnipresence. It was an experience he was both taken aback and impressed by.
“The Team, The Team, The Team… I saw that everywhere,” he said. “I saw the Go Blue and the big block M, I saw that everywhere. Everywhere you see there's Michigan. Everywhere you turn. You could go as far away… I'm at the airport right now and I still see Michigan everywhere."
Though far away from naming Michigan or any other school his favorite, Solomon did find himself imagining what it would be like to don the winged helmet. That vision was sharpened by defensive coordinator Don Brown’s description of how he would fit into the Wolverines’ scheme if ultimately chose Michigan.
“(Brown) never really beat around the bush when I asked him if I was a ‘plan a’ for him and his program or if I was just another guy,” the Sunshine State tar said.
“The first thing he did was pull up video highlights of Jabrill Peppers. He told me that my speed and my athleticism would match his by the time I develop more. He then went over a little bit of the playbook and we watched (more) film together. He taught me about what (Jabrill) does for Michigan and why he is playmaker. He believes that I can do the same thing."
That plan, while appealing, is one of many criteria that he’ll evaluate with each of his suitors.
"The big factors are how the football program is going, good academics of the school, whether I like the atmosphere of the school, and whether I like the people on campus,” explained Solomon. “So I like the coaching staff and if I fit along with their scheme (are other factors."
The trip to Michigan helped solidify distance as a non-factor.
“The plane ride was really smooth,” he said. “It was three hours but it felt like it was 30 minutes."
As a matter of fact the travel was so quick and smooth that he plans on making the trip again in the very near future.
Said Solomon, "I believe I am trying to set something up with Clemson next month, so I can check out Clemson and then I'll be back for the Michigan spring game."