Fearsome Foursome Grandson Darris Sawtelle

With close ties to Michigan and Tennessee, offensive lineman Darris Sawtelle of Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., has offers from both schools. However, with two other schools having offered, and a who's who list of schools showing strong interest, it isn't a given the top talent will choose the Wolverines or Volunteers. (*MORE ADDED*)

Reporting offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Michigan State, and Toledo, offensive lineman Darris Sawtelle of Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., claims to be wide open. "There was a report published that said I was down to Michigan and Tennessee," Sawtelle told GoBlueWolverine.com on Wednesday. "That is not true, I have a lot of options open to me and I am looking at all of them."

Sawtelle has strong ties to both Michigan and Tennessee. "I moved around a lot when I was a kid, but have been in Michigan most of my life," he said. "I also have a lot of family and friends in Tennessee, my grandfather played at Tennessee." Darris McCord was an All-American for the Volunteers before going on to a stellar NFL career with the Detroit Lions, as a member of the "Fearsome Foursome" defensive front four with Alex Karris.

So did Sawtelle grow up a Vols fan? "It's been 50-50," he said. "I always rooted for Tennessee against whoever they were playing, and being from around here I always rooted for Michigan as well." And, he added, "My grandfather actually graduated from Cass Tech in Detroit ... then he went to prep school in Tennessee and then to college there."

Sawtelle received his first offer at the Michigan camp back in 2004. However, it wasn't from the Wolverines. "I was at the camp the summer of my sophomore year," he said. "The offensive line coach from Toledo was there and I guess I held my own. He offered me right there at the camp."

The Michigan offer had to wait a while longer, but eventually came this past January at Junior Day. "Coach (Lloyd) Carr pulled me and my family into his office and offered me," he said. "It was quite an honor."

As far as any other junior days this winter, he said, "No, I couldn't make it to any ... Brother Rice is very academically challenging, and I can't really take the time off during school to travel to other places."

Brother Rice is coming off a 12-2 season which includes the Division 2 State Championship, something Sawtelle said he would like to repeat. As such, his decision could come early. "I want to decide before the season, maybe even late summer," he said. "I am all about football and I want to win another title."

The Warriors play their games on Saturday, which makes it difficult for Sawtelle to attend many college games. However, he has been able to take in a few contests at Michigan Stadium. "The Cuillo family are good friends of ours and they have season tickets," he said. "They've been kind enough to take me to a few Michigan games when I've had the time."

Sawtelle said he has played at the tackle position his entire career, but is open to moving inside if needed. "I don't really care just as long as I'm on the field," he said. "I'm looking at depth charts closely and while playing early isn't a first concern, it is a bonus."

While Sawtelle is wide open, the selection of one school may cause some difficulties for the talented young man. "My family is fully supportive of whatever decision I make," he said. "But my grandfather gets a little upset when he sees the mail from Alabama. He told me that all my family and friends in Tennessee would disown me if I go to Alabama. I also get my name from him, and he said I would have to give that back."

Fortunately for the younger Darris, his list doesn't include the Crimson Tide. Other schools showing interest in the pre-evaluation five-star player are Ohio State, Boston College, Penn State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Duke, Purdue, Indiana, Nebraska, Auburn, Northwestern, Miami, Florida State, and Florida.

He said he won't attend any spring combines. "I have some really good offers from schools I'm very interested in," he said. "So while I'm looking for more and keeping an open mind, my focus is school and another state title - nothing compares with that."

However, he is planning on watching some of his top schools in action this spring. "I'm planning to to go spring practices at Tennessee and Michigan, and at Michigan State," he said.

He said he is also planning on attending camp for a day at Michigan and Tennessee, as well as going to a few other one-day camps. "My time schedule won't allow me to go to any long camps," he said.

Sawtelle has been listed at various heights and weights. When asked for an accurate tally. He said, "I'm actually 6-5 1/2, leaning towards 6-6. Right now I'm a little thin, I'm 280 pounds. My 40 time is 5.1 seconds."

Sawtelle said he is looking to head to the broadcast booth following his football career. "The schools I am looking at all offer broadcast journalism as a degree," he said. "A good football program and good academics are what I'm looking for."



Note: GoBlueWolverine scouted the future college right tackle Sawtelle (and his LB teammate Chris Colasanti) at the Prep Bowl versus Orchard Lake St. Mary's last late-October (their only two losses of the season were both to OLSM). For the story, including scouting reports, *ACTION PHOTOS*, and Sawtelle's own self-evaluation of his strengths and weaknesses, click HERE.

For GBW's recent interview with Sawtelle's LB teammate Chris Colasanti (also offered at the U-M Junior Day), click HERE.


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