Top TXAM Combine Performer to Receive U-M Offer?

The Texas A&M Nike Camp was cut short by thunderstorms. But the kids all got to go through the testing phrase -- and we thought there was <b>one performer</b> who stood out. We talked to him Sunday evening -- it looks like U-M feels the same way about him!

As we wrote Saturday evening about the combine: "The guy who stood out most to us: offensive lineman Mark Ortmann from Klein, Texas, in the northern Houston suburbs (the same area that former U-M lineman Steve Frazier came from). Ortmann is in great shape and looks like a 'cut' (and huge) tight end. We spoke for quite a while during the day with Mr. Ortman, Mark's father, as we were waiting around hoping the rain would stop. And we spoke briefly a couple times to Mark himself. So Sunday evening we called Mark for an interview:

Mark, we got your 40 times on Saturday, and your bench press results. But what were your height and weight?

"I was measured at 6-6 1/2, and 270 lbs. I scratched my shuttle -- I couldn't keep from slipping in the rain."

As we reported Saturday, Ortman's 40 yard dash heats were very good at 5.0 and 4.8 seconds. And he had a good 24 bench press repetitions. And we watched those shuttles of his that he mentioned -- the waterlogged turf was too slippery (all the top shuttle times were from the short 5-9-ish 'athletes' whose center of gravity was low enough to keep their footing), but Ortman looked flexible and athletic, better even than some of the highly toughted D-liners in the lineman group.

Your dad told me yesterday that Michigan visited your school?

"Yes sir, this past week, on Monday I believe. And then that night Coach Jackson called me. He said he was very impressed by watching me practice. So we've sent my tapes in to Michigan. Coach Jackson told me that after the tapes get viewed they'll want us to call Head Coach Carr soon (for a scholarship offer)."

Your Dad said you have two offers so far?

"Yes. From Northwestern, and from Kansas."

Have you decided on any summer camps?

"I haven't decided on all of them, But I know I'll go to the Texas and Texas A&M camps. And I'll come up to Chicago to visit family this summer, and I hope to put in a day or so at the Michigan, Notre Dame and Northwestern camps."

You're from the Chicago area?

"Yes. We moved to Texas whan I was little, over 10 years ago. But we go back up to Chicago to visit in the summers."

Where would you like to play -- would you like to go North, or does it matter?

"I don't care at all. I'll just see where the process leads me."

Note: Mark's father told us Saturday that, "We have kids all over. Mark's sister is playing soccer at Boise State, and his brother attended Texas A&M for three years before finishing up elsewhere."

Have the instate schools been recruiting you?

"Yes, Texas and Texas A&M have both been talking to me."

Do you have a top five?

"Well, not a final list of five or anything. But Michigan is in there ... and Texas, A&M, Nebraska, and Miami ...."

Ortman has a 3.5 GPA, and is waiting for the score from an SAT he took recently. He also reports a 350 lb. bench press, a 450 lb. squat, and a 26 inch vertical jump.

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