A follow from a Michigan coach on twitter, a phone call to said coach minutes later, and then a Maize & Blue offer. That was the chronology of events yesterday for Frisco (Tex.) Wakeland offensive lineman Rafiti Ghirmai.
“It caught me by surprise,” Ghirmai said laughingly. “I was like, ‘oh wow! Okay.”
The show of interest from Michigan was as abrupt as it was definitive. He hadn’t spoken to any coaches in Ann Arbor before that point, but that’s the kind of winter the talented youngster is having. Just in the last few weeks he also added offers from Georgia and Alabama. Not bad for a youngster that wasn’t on the Power Five radar at this time a year ago.
“I’d say I did pretty good considering junior year was my first year on varsity ever,” Ghirmai said. (Scouts) say, ‘he has nice hands, nice hips, he is quick, but he has got to work on his footwork.‘ That’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
His collegiate suitors believe that’s not anything experience and training can’t fix. That certainly is the case for Michigan offensive line coach Tim Drevno, the Wolverine assistant responsible for extending the Ghirmai his offer yesterday. Teacher and prospective student spoke for the first time and hit it off instantly.
“I already like Coach Drevno,” said Ghirmai. “He is a good guy. I already like him already. I’m going to do my research (on Michigan).”
A visit to the Great Lakes State in the coming months is likely and will help the information gathering process considerably. In the meantime the talented youngster plans to get more familiar with Michigan from afar. There are already a few traits he has already taken a liking to.
“Ann Arbor… I like the weather,” he said. “Something about me is I love the cold. I heard it’s cold over there. I love the cold. Another thing is it is a great, great football school. The academics I heard are really really nice. That stands out to me the most.”
“Jim Harbaugh… people always say he might be one of the best coaches,” Ghirmai continued. “That’s really good for me because I know Coach Harbaugh is a good guy. I’ve seen him on (television). I like the way he coaches his guys. I like the way he reacts to bad situations. Some coaches might yell and all of that, but he Is just a calm guy. He slows everything down and goes over what they missed. He is just a good guy.”
That’s a good foundation on which the Wolverines can continue to build their case, but a great deal of work still must be done to move up his list. Ghirmai insists he has no favorites currently and didn’t grow up with any boyhood allegiances. He plans to take his time forming one now.
“I’m probably going to wait later in my recruiting process (to make a decision),” he said. “This isn’t confirmed, but maybe in like December or January.”
(It’s going to come down to) a lot of things. Of course my offensive line coach because I’m going to be spending the most amount of time with him. I’d say the players because caches can leave, but the players stay. I have to make sure I have a good relationship with them. And a good strength coach because if I’m not with my o-line coach I’m going to be with him working out. And finally, a great head coach that knows what he’s doing and is smart.”