Visiting Michigan had been something New Kensington (Pa.) Valley wide receiver Toney Clemons wanted to do for a long time. His cousin Steve Breaston has been a Wolverine for the past four years, and Clemons hadn’t been up to see him. When it became clear that his new pal Ryan Mallett would be in Ann Arbor for the annual summer camp this week, he was even more eager to get up to campus. The wait finally came to an end when he hopped in the car with his cousin Dave (Steve Breaston’s brother) on Monday to come up and check things out. After meeting face to face with Mallett for the first time, Clemons found he liked the five-star signal caller even more in person.
“Talking to him and seeing him throw was unreal,” Clemons said. “I heard he split somebody’s gloves in half! I like Ryan. He is cool and he is down to earth. He is just a good dude.”
Clemons’ time on campus could have easily been used as to give the hard recruiting pitch full of all the bells and whistles. That, however, is exactly what the Michigan coaching staff did not do. Instead, they used his presence as an opportunity to get to know him a little better.
“They pretty much just let me see things for myself,” Clemons recalled. “They didn’t try to put any pressure on me or anything. They treated me well up there. They didn’t hide anything. They didn’t try to prepare how people would for an official. They were being themselves. They kept everything real. They didn’t gas anything up, which was good thing. That’s what I like. That’s what I respected about them.”
One of the highlights of the visit for Clemons was seeing Michigan Stadium for the first time.
“I saw the Big House,” he said. “I talked to Coach Carr on my way out Tuesday morning and he told me about how they are going to expand it. It’s going to be totally different. It’s going to be bigger. I don’t know how they can make it any bigger, but they found a way. I hope to see it when they’re done.”
With his first trip to Ann Arbor now out of the way, Clemons plans to get out and see a few other campuses before the start of high school season. He may even make a return trip to Michigan in the coming weeks.
“I’m going to try to hit West Virginia,” said Clemons. “I’ll probably be up at Michigan State. If I come up to Michigan State, I’m going to stop back (to Michigan) with my mom and let her can see it. I’m not sure when. It will probably be later on this summer.”
“I plan to take all my official visits in the fall…probably once basketball season starts.”