All quotes courtesy of Bob Lichtenfels.
The recruiting process officially came to an end today for Valley High (New Kensington, PA) wideout Toney Clemons. The four-star pass catcher had been coveted by a number of major college programs, but he eliminated any speculation about which one he would choose when he announced his decision at his high school this morning in front of a crowd of family, friends and teachers.
After giving brief opening remarks thanking all of the schools that recruited him and their fans, the 6-3, 190-pound athlete stepped off the podium and removed his varsity jacket to reveal a Steve Breaston Michigan jersey. He then stepped back onto the podium and placed a Michigan hat atop his head, thus signifying his plan to become a Wolverine.
"There were ten teams there, and Pitt was always in my heart too," said Clemons to Scout.com's Bob Lichtenfels. "I chose Michigan because… it was just the program itself. I feel like I can make some strides early. They're going to give me the chance to come in and compete. I can play early. Academics also played a huge role. A degree from Michigan is a big deal. Michigan's academics are second to none."
Clemons spent the past few months gathering information on all of the schools on his list, but especially on his two favorites, Michigan and Pitt. With two sisters already at Pittsburgh, and a cousin in Ann Arbor (Breaston), the youngster had plenty of first-hand info at his disposal. What he didn't have was any expectation from his family members that he would choose a particular school, and Clemons found that particularly refreshing.
"Steve really didn't pressure me to go to Michigan," he said. "My sisters didn't pressure me to go to Pitt. Basically everybody just answered my questions and in the end I had too make the best decision for me."
Clemons had initially planned to prolong the recruiting process by taking a few more visits, but his official visit to Michigan earlier this month changed his timetable completely.
"I just want to get this show on the road," said Clemons days after returning home from his trip. "If I know where I want to go, all I'm really doing is blocking offers or opportunities for other kids. By me going ahead and announcing my decision, it frees up offers for them."
With his recruitment now a thing of the past, Clemons is anxious to switch his focus back to his current team and the business at hand.
"It's great to get this off of my chest," he said, "especially tonight when we play Burrell (his school's cross-town rival)."
Stay tuned for video Clemons' presser courtesy of Scout.com's Bob Lichtenfels. The newest Wolverine discusses playing with Ryan Mallett and much much more