Over the past few months, Saginaw center Josh Southern had not been mentioning the Michigan Wolverines among his list of favorites. That, however, changed after Southern and his family had a recent conversation with Maize and Blue headman Tommy Amaker. "We talked with [Coach Amaker] two or three weeks ago and he said he was really interested in Josh and that he would love to have him," said Southern's mother Geraldine. "He said that there would be a scholarship for him."
It was clear from listening to Mrs. Southern's recollection of that interaction that her first impression of Amaker was quite favorable. It was also evident that the way she feels about the man that will eventually coach her son is important. That said, there is another factor that will carry even more weight. "I really liked [Coach Amaker]," Mrs. Southern said. "I really like his personality. He gave me some really vital information that I needed about the school. I've also talked to Coach Izzo a lot, and I like him too. I've talked to Miami's coach. But academics will be the key. The most important thing for me is academics. Number one on my list will be academics."
With about 12 offers on the table at this point, a major part of the weeding out process for the Southerns will be campus visits. Josh has already made a number of visits to East Lansing, has taken a trip to Lexington, and has traveled to Ann Arbor a few times in the past few months (most recently for the football game vs. Notre Dame). Southern indicated that he is no stranger to Michigan's campus. "That was probably like my fifth time making it to Michigan," Southern said of his visit for the Irish game. "Coach old me that he liked my game. He said that he saw me in Lansing and that he would love to have me down there."
During the period in which Michigan was being omitted from Southern's list, Michigan State and Kentucky appeared to be strengthening their positions at the top. While 6-9, 250-pounder acknowledged that the Spartans and Wildcats still occupy his top slot, he also indicated that the other schools on his list are receiving strong consideration. "They are probably still up there," Southern said of Kentucky and Michigan State, "but I like other schools too."
"Michigan is up there on my list now. I like Miami. I'm looking at Wake Forest and Wisconsin. I like other schools too. I'm going to look at all of them. I'm not going to be making a decision anytime soon. I'll probably wait until my senior year so I can get to know all of the coaches and visit the campuses more. I want to see how well I like them."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Southern in the near future.