“I had prayed about what I was going to do I felt like God was not going to steer me wrong," said Udoh. "So then about two weeks ago...I believe it was on April 29 at around 3 a.m. in the morning...I sent Coach Mike Jackson a text message. In my text message I told him I was coming to Michigan. I didn’t get a call until the next morning and he was very excited."
Michigan first spotted Ekpe Udoh at the ABCD
camp in July. Despite not playing at 100%, the big man from Edmond, Okla. made
an impression on the U-M staff. Over the summer the Wolverines interest continued
to grow. In a summer event in Las Vegas, as many as three Wolverines coaches
were seen eyeing the player during an afternoon contest. And Udoh noticed.
Udoh returned the Wolverines interest by making his way to Ann Arbor for an official visit the first weekend in September. "It went real well. I hung out with Lester Abram, Daniel Horton, Chris Hunter and Hayes Grooms," he said after his visit. "Hayes is Braylon Edwards' best friend and he introduced me to Braylon at the game. I also showed my skills in EA Sports College Football. I beat Chris Hunter 102-7. Daniel Horton was a little tougher. I beat him 28- 14. The players were cool and real down to earth. I was real comfortable around them."
After the visit to U-M, the Wolverines seemed to emerge as the leader. However, that would change as the luster of the visit wore off. Pittsburgh began to show interest in the talented big man and joined the Maize and Blue at the top of Udoh's interest list late in the fall, but the Panthers could never overcome the relationship built between Udoh and Michigan.
However, there was one final hurdle for Amaker and the Wolverines to clear. As a result of an injury sustained over the summer, Udoh began to consider the thought of prep school as opposed to signing directly out of high school.
"In all likelihood, we're about 95% sure he's going to a prep school," Udoh's traveling team coach Mitch Malone had told Scout.com. "He's not going to sign early."
"I still want to go to prep school, probably Harmony Community School," Udoh had said. "I want to work on my skills. I've been out for a while with my shoulder injury. I just want to be stronger and be ready for college."
But in the end the persistence of Amaker and staff paid off. Udoh joins Deshawn Sims, K'len Morris and Anthony Wright in the Wolverines class of 2006.
Udoh averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks per game during his senior season. He is scheduled to make his commitment official when he faxes in his letter of intent sometime Monday morning. GoBlueWolverine Magazine will have more on Udoh's commitment in the coming hours.