One of the more impressive linemen at the Army National Junior combine a few months back was Denver Mullen offensive tackle Bryce Givens. The 6-7, 268-pounder showed excellent quickness and strong technique in pass blocking drills, and those skills soon caught the attention of a number of major college programs across the country. One of the programs to take the early plunge was the University of Michigan. On the very first day possible, coaches in Ann Arbor got on the phone with the talented youngster and offered him scholarship.
"They actually came to our school two weeks before signing day," Givens recalled. "Then my buddy Steve Watson he said Coach Carr and Coach DeBord were real interested in me. Two weeks later, they offered me the morning of signing day. I talked to Coach Carr and he pulled the trigger. I didn't expect it at first. I definitely expected one in the future, but I didn't know it was going to be that soon."
Joining Michigan on Givens' early offer list are Kansas State, Colorado, UCLA, Washington, Minnesota, and Illinois. His close proximity to a number of those schools afforded him the opportunity to already take a few visits. Now that interest is coming from far-reaching places, he plans to expand his travels in the not too distant future.
"Being from Colorado, I've already been up to CU," said Givens. "I've been on unofficials to Nebraska and Kansas State, but those were both earlier last year. I also took an unofficial to Notre Dame during last football season. Besides that, I haven't visited anywhere, but I'm definitely interested in getting out to Michigan and UCLA. It's going to be hard traveling to those places anytime soon, so I'll probably just wait until the summer to visit those schools. The ones closer to home I'll probably check out a little sooner."
With his number of suitors steadily growing, Givens is making sure to give each program a long look. That said, there are a few that are already standing out from the pack.
"Michigan is definitely one of the top schools," said Givens. "Notre Dame, Texas, Nebraska, USC are others that are up there. My buddy Nolan Brewster just got offered by Florida yesterday and I'm pretty excited about that. They're definitely on the radar. We'll have to see how that plays out. But Michigan is definitely in the top three or four."
One of the reasons for Michigan's strong standing is the presence of Givens' current teammate and future Wolverine, Steve Watson.
"We're pretty good buddies," said Givens. "He definitely tries to work it for Michigan. He always says, 'You've got to come up with me,' and, 'We'll be right next to each other just like in high school.' "
Much like Watson, Givens is giving serious thought to making his college choice before his senior season. However, he isn't sure that he'll actually follow in his friend's footsteps and actually follow through on making an early commitment.
"I'm kinda going back and forth," Givens explained. "I kinda want to decide before my senior season, but then again I kinda want to take all five of my officials. We'll have to see how that works out. I'm not really pushing for a particular date or anything. I'm just going to play it out and see what happens."
"When I do pick a school, it's going to be a compilation of tradition, the coaching staff, their style, and fan support," he continued. "All of those are going to be key in where I want to go. Distance is not going to be a factor at all. I kind of want to go out of state."