The Michigan Wolverines began to show a great deal of interest in Saginaw High center Josh Southern starting last spring, and that interest has been picking up ever since. However, many have wondered whether that interest was mutual since the in-state big-man sometimes neglected to mention the Maize and Blue among the schools on his list. When GoBlueWolverine caught up with Southern recently, he again insisted that Michigan is one of the programs he is seriously considering.
"No one should read anything into Michigan not being mentioned because I mention them," he said. "I talk about Michigan in my interviews when I am talking about colleges. I am definitely interested in Michigan."
The Wolverines may be a little fresher in Southern's mind after his visit to Ann Arbor a few weeks back for the Michigan State game. The bruising forward was accompanied by his parents on the trip, and they all seemed to enjoy themselves. Southern looked to be having a particularly good time laughing and talking with future Wolverine K'len Morris.
"I had a really good time," Southern said. "It was real nice and the environment was awesome. I like Coach Amaker a lot. He is a good coach. And then Coach Jackson, he is a cool guy. He is always trying to recruit good players for Michigan. I talk to him a lot."
Jackson isn't the only one that has been talking to Saginaw's man in the middle lately. He just spoke to Amaker again last week, thus making it clear that he is still a priority recruit for Michigan. When asked to rate his interest in the Wolverines on a scale of one to five, he gave the Wolverines high marks.
"Right now it is a 4," he said. "They are looking good right now. I am just looking at where I fit in and to see what kind of players they recruit."
It is clear that Southern is keeping an eye on what some of the other top players in state are doing. When asked if he'd like to play with any of them at the next level, he split them right down rivalry lines. "I would like to play with Alex Legion, DeShawn Sims, Durrell Summers, and Kalin Lucas," he said.
At this point in his recruitment, Southern is still wide open. He has received scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Miami-Florida, Kentucky, Wisconsin, UCLA, Pittsburgh and a host of other schools. All of those programs are getting fair looks, but the one that wins out will have a very specific traits. The youngster has made it clear in the past that good academics and a good environment are musts. He will also be paying close attention to the philosophies of the coach. He is looking for a headman just like the one he has now at Saginaw in Lou Dawkins.
"I'm looking at a team's style of play, the type of sets they run, and how I would fit in to that," Southern said. "I am looking for a college coach to teach me the right things. Coach Dawkins has helped me out a lot with my game since I was in 9th grade. He has helped me to be more aggressive. Coach Dawkins has meant a lot to my game. "
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Southern in the coming months.