Saginaw (MI) High's Josh Southern is still wide open, but Michigan's persistence in his recruitment seems to be paying off. It's clear that the youngster's recent visit o Ann Arbor made a difference with him. The Kentucky Wildcats still loom large because of the relationship that his high school coach Lou Dawkins has with Tubby Smith. Dawkins was once coached by Smith while he was the head man at Tulsa. A number of teams have turned up the intensity of their recruitment of the 6-9, 240-pounder, and it is easy to see why.
Southern continues to impress with his play in AAU. He is not going to wow observers with eye popping moves, but when they look up at the end of the game, they wonder how he put up 25 points and 12 rebounds.
At this point in time, Southern is not sure if he will make anymore visits this summer. His campus trip to Ann Arbor looks to be the only one he'll take in the near future. He took time recently to discuss it with GoBlueWolverine.
When you visited Michigan they had an open gym. Did you play?
"No, I really just came up to talk with Coach Amaker and the staff. Coach Amaker wanted me and my parents to come up so we all could talk. I did get a chance to see Deshawn Sims and we talked for a minute. I mostly stood and watched the game with Lamarr Woodley."
Did Lamarr talk to you about Coming to Michigan?
"Yeah, he talked to me about it. He was really telling me how much he
has enjoyed his time there and how he loved it. I listen to Lamarr because coming
out of high school he was at the top and he is a guy who has been through the
process. I will lean on Lamarr when I make my decision to choose a college."
Did Coach Amaker come at you real hard?
"Oh yeah I got a real good vibe from Coach Amaker. I felt he was very
sincere in what he was saying. Coach is real straight forward and to the point.
He really put it on me up there."
What did he say that impressed you?
"He told me how much they needed me and how I can come in and make a difference. It made feel like I can be a key factor in the program. I can see myself there."
In what ways can you see yourself helping them?
"I can give them some rebounding, a low post scorer, some defense, I can block some shots, and pass. Coach Jackson likes that about me… that I can see the floor and take my time."
How is your relationship with Coach Jackson?
"I like Coach Jackson. He is down to earth he keeps in touch with me from almost every week. You can talk to him about everything and I like that."
How do you feel about Michigan right now?
"Michigan was a childhood favorite of mine growing up. I really enjoyed watching the football team and then I liked the Fab Five with Chris Webber. Michigan is a place where I can grow up at and mature."
How do your parents feel about Michigan?
"My mom and dad like Michigan very much. A lot! It makes me look at them a little more closely now, because of my mom and dad."
Besides Michigan, what other colleges are recruiting you hard right now?
"Michigan State, Kentucky, Ohio State… there are a lot of them right now."
Is it important for you to stay close to home?
"It would be nice, but it has no factor on where I go to college."
What are the things that will be important to you when you choose a college?
"The environment at the school, the academics, and the coaching staff. A staff that is serious about what they are doing. I would like to be close to the staff and have a good relationship with them."