The shock and surprise that resulted from the commitment of Heard County, Georgia running back Carlos Brown still hasn't worn off in Ann Arbor -- a much needed diversion for followers of the Wolverines after the recent Alamo Bowl defeat at the hands of Nebraska. With the disappointing season now over, the focus for the Michigan football team is on making improvements in preparation for next season. Brown believes he can play a role in helping his new team do that.
"I was at in All Star game down in Columbus (Ga.) so I missed a lot of the game," Brown said of Wednesday night's contest in San Antonio. "When I got home I caught the whole second half. From watching them, I think I can come in and help out. I think I can help Michigan out, and I think Michigan can help me out. Basically they feel that I could come in and play right away."
Figuring Brown into the backfield rotation wasn't a luxury the Michigan coaching staff thought it would have earlier this month. At that point it seemed that all chances of the talented youngster donning the Winged Helmet had been lost. The Peach State star had reportedly eliminated the Maize and Blue and had narrowed his choices to Georgia and South Carolina. It was later discovered that that wasn't true at all.
"I didn't really drop Michigan from my list," Brown explained. "I had filled out applications to a lot of schools, but I never really dropped Michigan. When I called them up and told them I wanted to go there, they were surprised. First I talked to Coach Loeffler, then Coach Carr, and then Coach Jackson. Coach Loeffler was just amazed. Coach Carr said, ‘Back in the day my vertical was 36-inches, but now it's 24-inches ... and I'm that high off the ground right now!"
With his decision now out of the way, Brown is in the midst of following through on his plan to enroll in school in January. While his transition will be a little different than that of the average freshman, it is something that he is looking forward to a great deal. His surroundings in Ann Arbor will be largely different from the rural setting that he grew up in, but that was a huge part of Michigan's appeal.
"I was talking to his mom (a few weeks back), and she told me that when Carlos was younger, he always wanted to live in another part of the country when he grew up after having been in the same place all his life," said Heard County Head Coach Tim Barron to Scout.com. "He wanted to experience something different."
When Brown spoke to GoBlueWolverine, he made mention of those very same factor in his decision to attend the University of Michigan. "I always wanted to live in the city, and it's in the city," he said. "Plus I've got an aunt that lives not to far from there. I really liked it up there and I wanted to do something different."
Every year a great many recruits express that same desire to do their own thing, but many never follow through. Often times various pressures convince them to walk the expected path. For Brown it came down to doing what was best for him and ignoring what others might have to say about it. "I think he finally quit listening to everyone else and made a decision on his own," Barron said, "a decision that he was comfortable with."
"I wasn't really worried about the reaction people would have," Brown later added. "Everybody that loves me was going to love me regardless."
In the days since he made his decision public, Brown has heard words of congratulations from a number of sources, including coaches from the other schools on his list. That, however, hasn't stopped them from trying to get him to reconsider. Even so, Brown unequivocally knows what he's going to do.
"They're kind of still coming after me," Brown said of the
other programs he was considering. "But I know that it's Michigan. I told the
other schools that I'm definitely going to Michigan."
Besides, there won't be a chance for other schools to change his mind -- because he's enrolling at U-M for the soon-to-start winter semester.
"I leave for Ann Arbor in three days."