The Michigan Wolverines haven’t landed a player from Detroit Cass Tech since they harvested a high-profile recruit by the name of Clarence Williams back in 1995. The odds of ending that drought finally started to look a lot better with the attendance of two of the schools top players at the Maize and Blue’s annual open house.
The first hint of change Cass defensive lineman Joseph Barksdale. The 6-5, 315-pound defensive tackle told GoBlueWolverine Saturday that he is now looking at Michigan much more favorably after having some of his previous misconceptions about the program cleared up. That, however, was only a sign of things to come. The positive vibes from the Cass crew continued, courtesy of Barksdale’s teammate, junior cornerback Boubacar Cissoko.
The 5-9, 177-pound athlete wowed onlookers at the Ohio State Nike camp back in May with his confident and aggressive play. He stayed in the hip pocket of practically every receiver he faced, demonstrating the strength to stymie opponents off the line of scrimmage, and the speed and quickness to cover them down the field. His talent surprised everyone in attendance… everyone except the young man himself.
“I wasn’t surprised at all because I trust my game,” Cissoko said. “I went out there and I felt good about my game. At my high school, all we do is play man to man…bump and run three yards off, and just play. I really felt like I could be good out there and that I could compete. I came in and put on a show. After the Nike camp (Ohio State) offered me right there.”
The Buckeyes weren’t the ones that liked what they saw from Cissoko in Columbus. Michigan coaches were also in attendance at the camp and they made Cissoko aware of just how impressed they were during his campus visit this past Saturday.
“I talked to Lloyd Carr and he offered me a scholarship,” an excited Cissoko said. “We went into a conference room and talked a little bit. Then they gave me a tour. Then I sat down with Coach Lloyd Carr and talked to him. He was talking to me about the way I feel about Michigan football and where I’m from. Then he said that I have a scholarship there. I had one from MSU ... but Michigan is where I want to be at anyway. I love Michigan!”
Though Cissoko already knew what it was like to be offered by a big time college program, this time it was a little different. He couldn’t hide his excitement. “I was like WOW,” he recalled. “I was happy because I have a Michigan helmet in my room. I have a (Michigan) poster board in my room. I was just happy about it.”
So did he commit to the Wolverines on the spot? “Nah, I didn’t tell him all that,” Cissoko said.
The youngster indicated that he will be taking some time to discuss the weekend’s events with his parents (who were out of town) and his coaches at Cass. As is the case with Barksdale, recruiting will likely be put on the backburner for the moment and his immediate attention will be focused on his high school team as they prepare kick off their season at the end of the month.
GoBlueWolverine will have more from Cissoko in the coming weeks and months.