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Antonio Bass Follows his Heart

<p><b>Antonio Bass</b> gathered with family and friends at Jackson high yesterday to announce his decision to attend the University of Michigan. <br><br> Check inside for a <b>full transcript</b> of Bass' words, as well as those of Jackson athletic director and former U-M great <b>Russell Davis</b>, plus football coach Jack Fairly, and Antonio's mom.</p> <p><em><b>Also be sure to check out the presser <a href="">photo gallery</a

Also be sure to check out the presser photo gallery.

On picking Michigan:

"It was a hard decision, but I had to make it. I didn't get a lot of sleep. It was stressing me out. When it came down to it, it was the right decision for me. I've been a Michigan fan throughout my years. When I was younger I used to watch Michigan with my dad. He MADE me watch Michigan (laughing). It was a good thing. Going up there…I felt really comfortable doing that. I think it was the best decision."

On how close it was between Michigan and Michigan State:

"It was close. It basically came down to what I wanted to do. Academic wise Michigan is really good. Other than that, it was just where I wanted to be."

On the positions each school wanted him to play:

"Michigan State wanted me to play quarterback, but Michigan wants me to play both (quarterback and wide receiver), so I'll get the best of both worlds at Michigan. My dream was to play quarterback, but you have to give up things to do exactly what you want to do in life."

On his relationship with Coach Carr:

"Coach Carr is a great guy. He never beat around the bush. He has been straight up with me the whole time. I think that is what I like about him the most. He didn’t just tell me what I wanted to hear, he just told me what he thinks, and what he wants me to play."

On Michigan State moving up:

"I didn’t really know that much about Michigan State. When I went to the Michigan game, I liked the offense, I liked what they were doing with the ball and decided to give them a better look that I used to."

On what pushed Michigan over the top:

"The players and the environment. I loved the environment there. I could talk about anything with the players. It was like they were my good friends. Academic wise, it was real nice up there."

On what impacted his decision:

"A lot had a great impact on my decision… my family, my friends. It just came down to what I wanted to do. Everybody had their two cents about what I should do with advice here and there, but it just came down to what I wanted to do."

"And one more thing...Michigan was the best thing for me. I had a friend that died a couple of months ago, and he was very close to me. He was a great Michigan fan, and I felt like I could do that for him as well. His name was Tony Fischer."

Russell Davis

On Antonio's choice:

"A lot of people really assumed that I put a lot of pressure on Antonio, and that is far from the truth. (Antonio laughing). Although, I did do subtle things like walk by and say, 'Go Blue!' It was very important to me that I didn’t pressure Antonio one way or another because the crime in that whole thing would be that he was going somewhere that I thought that he should go, and be unhappy. I would be unhappy with that, so I tried to stay out of that as much as possible. I pretty much knew that U of M would be a good place for Antonio, but it was Antonio’s decision. I will tell you this. He talks about being comfortable with Michigan. Coach Carr called me after Antonio called him and he told me about their discussion. (*Antonio snickering*) He called up Coach Carr and he said,

AB: “Coach Carr…”

LC: “Yes.”

AB: “This is Antonio Bass.”

LC: “Yes, Antonio?”

AB: “I got some news for ya.”

LC: "Yes, Antonio?”

AB: “I’m going to Michigan State.” (laughter)

LC: “Well, Antonio, why are you going to do that?”

AB: “Naw, I’m just kidding.”(laughter)

"Now that just goes to show you how comfortable he is with Coach Carr. Now what he doesn’t know is what Coach Carr told me after that. “He’ll see you in practice!” (Laughter)

Coach Jack Fairly

On Antonio picking Michigan:

"This is an exciting day for us. And just to piggyback off of a couple of things; Mr. Davis was very neutral in the whole process…and that was one of my comments to Antonio on Thursday. I called him from home and I said that, “you are to the point where people are going to start giving you their definite opinion about where you should go. Make sure that when it is all said and done and you are out on the practice field, and all of sudden you aren't doing what you thought you were going to be doing, that you are still happy going to school there. And after he came back from his official visit all he could talk about was the players and how he met Mike Hart, and Braylon Edwards, and how nice they were. How they hung out and just did some fun things, and just how comfortable he felt, I knew that they had hit a cord. Going through this process, when you take schools like, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame, and Michigan State, and Michigan, they are all quality universities. And I think that something has to give, one way or another. I think it all comes down to building relationships. It’s obvious that even on that short little visit, Antonio was starting to build some of those relationships. I think that Michigan is about to have a great player for the next four years, and I am just ecstatic."

On if his team was distracted by Antonio's recruitment

"I really don’t think that the team was distracted much by it. I know that Antonio and I spent a great deal on the phone. I think I got called by just about every other day. “Did Antonio sleep well?” “What did he do in school today?” “Which way is he leaning?” “Do you have some photos of him?” There was a lot of that going on. Not only that, he had some nice visits at Notre Dame, he got to meet Tyrone Willingham. He touched his life in a way…he said some things that I think will stay with Antonio. I know that they are going to stay with me. You know, everybody gets a little bit out of this. I know I got to meet some great folks and make some connections, which will help the other young men in our program because now I have some connections and relationships that I built. So our next gifted athlete and student that comes along, I can say hey let me call this person I had a conversation with. So I think there is a whole spin-off thing that we can go with."

Tammy Bass

On if she's happy to be getting her phone back:


On what it was like having all of the recruiters calling:

"The recruiters calling…that was fine. It wasn't the recruiters, it was the reporters (laughing). They called everyday, any time of day, any time of evening…but they were really really nice about it. The phone just rang off the hook."

"I just wanted to say is that either school Antonio picked was not a bad choice. We told him to go with his heart. He struggled for the last week. He had a really good visit at Michigan. He had a really good visit at Michigan State. By the time he got back, he was in a dilemma. So either school was perfect for him. We just told him to go with his heart."

Check for much more on Antonio in an upcoming issue of GoBlueWolverine the Magazine.

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