A New QB on the Wolverine Radar?

Quarterback has now emerged as a major need for Michigan in this recruiting class. With all of Michigan's main targets pledging elsewhere and uncertaintly regarding what position five-star athlete Antonio Bass will play, the Wolverine staff has re-kindled relationships with some prior targets. One, an instate prospect who attended the Michigan camp this summer, has been invited, and <b>will attend, this Saturday's Michigan State game.</b>

Some prospects are put off with the idea of garnering interest from a school late in the recruiting game. Not so for Mason, Mich. quarterback Chad Somerville. "Michigan has started contacting me again," he said. "Coach Scot Leoffler invited me to come down for the Michigan State game so I'll be there this weekend."

Somerville attended the Michigan camp this summer and said the coaches were impressed with his improvement mechanically from his junior to senior summers but wanted to see more before extending an offer. "I've sent them some tape from my season so far," he said. "(Michigan) has said they really like what they see."

The 6 foot 3, 185-pound signal caller has been receiving the most attention from Michigan State, which he said has been recruiting him the longest, and Western Michigan. He is also getting a look from Central Michigan, but has yet to receive an offer from any school. He admits growing up a Spartan fan, since Mason is only a short hop from East Lansing. So, who will he be rooting for this weekend? "It's true I've always been a State fan," he said, chuckling. "But I there to show respect for Michigan so I'll be rooting for them in the Big House." After pausing, he went on, "It's just a great honor for me to be considered by a program like Michigan," he said. "They have one of the best (football) programs in the nation and their academics are fantastic." He said he doesn't have any favorite at this time.

Somerville described himself as a drop-back passer with good feet. He's like to play in a spread offense and said Western Michigan holds the best chance for immediate playing time. "They have four quarterbacks right now and three of them are juniors," he said. "So if I went there and red-shirted I could compete for a starting job my second year." He added that a variety of factors will go into his decision, including his relationship with the coaching staff, particularly the quarterbacks coach. "I also want to go to a prestigious school," he said. "I want to major in education so the quality of that aspect will be an important part of my decision." He said he scored a 16 on the ACT and retook the test this past Saturday. he also reports a 3.0 grade point average.

In addition to the Michigan camp, Somerville attended camps at Central Michigan and Western Michigan, as well as the Elite 11 tryout at Iowa and Ohio State Nike Camp. He also went to the Illinois camp but the Illini aren't in the running for his services. "They already have a (QB) commitment so that takes them out of it," he said. "Plus, I wasn't really impressed with them." He said he was clocked at a 5.0 at the OSU Nike but ran a 4.9 at the Central Michigan camp.

The All-Conference and pre-season All-State selection has led Mason to a 7-2 record this year. The Bulldogs are coming off a 34-6 thrashing of Pinckney and head into the first round of the playoffs against conference foe Charlotte. "We lost by one point to them earlier this year," he said. "On out last score we went for two to win the game and didn't convert. We'll be looking for some payback this week."

The big question is what happens if the Wolverines extend an offer during the unofficial visit this weekend? "I've been thinking about that," he said. "If they offer I'll take it in to consideration ... I think I'd have to take it."

Somerville also plays small forward for the Mason basketball team as well as first base and pitcher for the baseball team. "I've been clocked with an 83 mile-per-hour fastball," he said.

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