Forcier and His Dad Tell a Tale of Michigan Magic

We don't remember who we noticed first: Jason, or his dad ... <br><br> There we were, the GoBlueWolverine Guys, getting ready to watch the QB's at the OSU Nike camp. And there were these TWO guys who caught our attention: one was a QB; the other was obviously one of the kids' dads. Both stood out, although in quite different ways ...<br><br> Here's the story of <b>Jason Forcier</b> and U-M, told from a different angle: thru the Forciers' eyes ... (and with just a little magic added).<br>

Where were we ... ah yes. There we were, the GoBlueWolverine guys, getting ready to watch the quarterbacks at the Ohio State Nike camp. And there were these TWO guys who caught our attention - one was a quarterback; the other was an adult, obviously one of the kids' fathers. Both stood out, although in quite different ways ...

First, we noticed The California Quarterback. How could we tell he was from California? How could we MISS it, he was so out of place in the cold of the Mid-Ohio early spring: the sun-tan, the curly sun-bleached hair, the Hollywood-handsome beach-boy look with the million-dollar smile, the sculpted surfer build, the air of and easy, relaxed confidence! It all read: CALIFORNIA.

We GBW Guys were actually there at the OSU Nike Camp to watch another blond QB, the buzz-cut Midwesterner, Rob Schoenhoft. And watch Rob we did -- but there was this OTHER kid, the Blond Californian. There was just 'something' about him -- an easy, outgoing 'presence'. He wasn't overly tall, about 6-2. But he had the arm, the accuracy, great speed and agility, and ... this 'presence'. "The California Confidence," we said to each other. And he hit pass after pass, right on the money.

And then, there was 'the other guy' who we noticed right away. A father we were sure ... he could've been a kid's coach, but nah, not the way he was acting, and not the way he looked. The first thing that caught our attention was the pacing, pacing, pacing ... way in the background, out of the way ... never going up to a performer and saying anything to him. Certainly, we figured, this was a worried parent. And then there were HIS looks ... we thought it was David Bowie at first. Another guy with the classic California good looks, albeit this time a middle-aged guy. "Gotta be the California Quarterback's dad, " we said in unison to each other. "Unless David Bowie is playing in Columbus tonight!" And because one of the GBW Guys is also a father of a teen-ager engaged in athletic competition, this GBW Guy secretly understood his pacing, his worry ...

We turned our attention back to the quarterbacks, as they were going through the 'primo event' of the Nike Camps, the quarterback-widout-DB drills -- one-on-one-on-one. The California QB rolled out and hit his wideout in stride -- and in back of us we heard, "THAT's what it's going to take to beat the Buckeyes!" We turned our heads, just slightly ... sure 'nuff, it was The Pacer Dad, talking to no one in particular, to himself really ... just engrossed in the action.

We GBW guys turned to each other once again, slightly incredulous, and repeated, again in unison: "That's what it's going to take to beat the BUCKEYES!?" Remember, we were at the Ohio State Nike Camp, on the Ohio State practice field! "We gotta talk to THIS guy!" we said to each other. And so we did.

You can guess the rest. The California quarterback: none other than Jason Forcier. And The Pacer Dad, "Mr. David Bowie," was Mike Forcier, father of Jason. Mr. Forcier grew up in Michigan, in Bloomfield Hills. And on this day they had come back to the Midwest, to Columbus Ohio, to the Ohio State Nike Camp, hoping to get the attention of The School Up North, Michigan!

The Forciers, as you can also guess, are Michigan fans! We talked once again to dad-Mike yesterday (Dec. 8), and he told us, "We are huge Michigan fans. Jason is a huge fan, always has been."

And like all Michigan fan-atics, the Forciers have their Magical Michigan Tales to tell!

"Back when Jason was just five or six," Mike said, "he cried when Chris Webber called 'The Time Out' ..."

"And just this morning I got out the picture I have of Jason, from when he was 11 -- with the biggest smile you've ever seen ... it was taken just at the moment when I found tickets for us to the '97 Rose Bowl!"

Even Jason himself, in May at the San Diego State Nike Camp, told us (GBW was there!), "I love Michigan. Michigan has always been my school."

Jason had attended the Michigan Summer Camp in 2002 (and he'd also made an official visit for the 2003 OSU Game in Ann Arbor), and he'd had an excellent junior season as the starting quarterback for the storied Santa Ana (Calif.) Matre Dei football program ... but Matre Dei runs a running offense, and Jason's junior year stats reflected it: 1,370 yards passing and 10 touchdowns; 801 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. Jason was scouted again by Michigan at the San Diego State Nike Camp, and at the 2004 Michigan Camp for a day.

At the San Diego State Nike Camp, with The Pacer Dad once again in the background, it was Mark Sanchez ('s #1 quarterback) who Jason went up against. As we, the GBW guys, stood and watched Forcier and Sanchez, we tried to compare the two: both had similar heights, similar arms, similar accuracy, similar agility. Sanchez had PERHAPS a smoother delivery. But, to counterbalance, whereas Sanchez seemed quiet, perhaps a bit shy, there was that easy-outgoing 'presence' that Forcier had ...

A comparable type of player in the college ranks to Forcier (as far as body type, playing style, etc.): Drew Stanton (who we watched at the 2001 Michigan Nike Camp). As always we give the disclaimer: not that Forcier is as good as Stanton or ever will be, etc. ... although, as of last summer when we last saw Forcier in action, the two were quite similar at the same age.

However, in spite of Forcier's fine performances, in the spring and summer of 2004 it didn't look like Jason's dream of playing for Michigan would come true. The kid with the Disneyland-Magic presence had run out of magic. As Jason told us yesterday, "At first it didn't look like Michigan was going to take a quarterback this year." Ah yes, Michigan recruiting fans remember that notion. Chad Henne would be redshirting, everyone thought, and who'd want to come in and play behind Matt Gutierrez, and then behind Henne of Clayton Richard? It looked like Michigan had a quarterback log-jam for four years!

So, Jason moved on: "I committed to Arizona State, and they told me I'd be their one quarterback in this recruiting class."

And then, like quicksilver, everything shifted. As Jason told us, "Then things started to happen at Michigan: Chad Henne starting, Matt Gutierrez having rotator-cuff shoulder surgery and maybe missing next season, and then Clayton Richard maybe playing baseball."

By the end of the season, Michigan was back in the recruiting-mark for a quarterback -- big time. And, to prove that there is Michigan-magic as well, Forcier also came 'back on the market' at the same time: "Arizona State had told me I was their one quarterback in their class. But then they hosted Ben Olson for an official visit, and that kind've backfired."

Backfired for ASU, that is -- but for Michigan it was Wolverine Kismet! As Jason tells it, "So a couple weeks ago now, Coach Loeffler, Michigan's quarterbacks coach, came to my volleyball game. Coach Loeffler watched me play for a half, and then at halftime he told my parents that he'd seen enough, that he was offering me a Michigan scholarship!"

Mr. Forcier added, "I think Jason had also shown Michigan that he could throw the ball this year: he had the big season -- passing for 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, plus rushing for over 1,000 yards and 16 TD's more. And St. Augustine played most of the top programs in the southern part of the state. They lost 4 games ... all were close losses where the defense just couldn't stop the opponent. On offense they averaged over 37 points a game." For his senior season efforts, Forcier 'rose out of nowhere' to be ranked as's #10 quarterback.

Just like that, Jason was back on track to have his dream of quarterbacking the Maize and Blue come true! And this time, this Magical-Michigan-Express was not to be derailed! Jason continues: "So, last weekend I came up to Michigan for an official visit. And it was a GREAT visit! My hosts were great guys -- Mike Massey and Adam Kraus -- and I just felt at home there."

And Tuesday night the deal was sealed!

"I called Coach Loeffler," Jason said, "and told him I was ready to commit; he had Coach Carr call me back. Coach Carr talked to me, and I committed to Michigan! Then Coach Carr talked to my parents for quite a while ... it was great!" And dad-Mike added, "Jason really clicked with Scot Loeffler -- moreso than with any of his other recruiters."

Finally, Jason's future is clear -- and Blue! "Now," he said, "I just have to get up there and learn the offense as fast as I can and see what happens. There is a chance I could be a contributor right away, as a back-up -- we'll just have to see what happens. Either way, I'm there -- I'm at Michigan!"

Here is a scouting report on Jason from the man who has seen him most, The Pacer Dad himself, the Man Behind the Forcier Magic, Mike Forcier:

"I know I'm a dad saying this ... Jason ALWAYS comes through in the tough situations, in the tough games. For the high school level, he's played in a lot of big games, in front of big crowds. He always comes through in pressure situations, more than any other high school quarterback I've seen."

"What separates Jason from other top quarterbacks -- and he went up against all the top West Coast kids -- is his passion ... his passion for football, and his passion for Michigan!"

Will Jason one day get to show that he has "... what it's going to take to beat the Buckeyes!" Don't discount it -- there's a little bit of magic in this kid!

The Michigan Insider Top Stories