The decision to become a Michigan Wolverine wasn't one that Elliott Mealer made hastily. The Wauseon, Ohio lineman makes no bones about the fact that he grew up an Ohio State fan. That would seemingly make donning the Maize & Blue an impossible choice, but his interaction with the Michigan coaching staff made his conversion a lot less difficult.
"I've been up there I want to say five times now," Mealer recalled. "Three of them were practices. That was just a great time up there. I got to watch the practice. I just had a real good time and got even more of a feel for how things were."
"I told the coaches up at Michigan that I'll be sleeping in a room tonight that has Ohio State stuff painted on the walls," Mealer continued. "I've got posters and everything. That's just how I was raised. Everyone in my family is the same way. It was definitely a hard choice for me, but more and more I prayed about it the more it seemed like the right choice. I actually went down to Ohio State for the spring game and things down there didn't go great for me. They went pretty good, but I think it was just more of a sign that Michigan was the place for me. I just got done committing to Coach Debord. I just told him. I just prayed and prayed and prayed to God about it. I just felt like I was getting signs from God. Ohio State was how I felt, but they just had two more guys commit to the offensive line down there and they hadn't given me an offer. I was patient and they talked to me and told me they wanted me to do a gray-shirt. That really didn't sound like a good deal for me. I was honored to even have them consider me, but I had better offers on the table and it just felt like the right time.
"Being up (at Michigan) as much as I have been…the coaching staff is what really sold me. I just thought more and more about how much I like Coach DeBord. You've got to like the guy that's going to be coaching you, which is Coach Moeller…and I really like him a lot too. And definitely Coach Carr too. I really like the whole staff. That's what really really sold me. That's not to knock on any of the other staffs. Everybody that has recruited me thus far has just been great, but (Michigan) is just where I felt best at."
Now that Mealer is a Wolverine, all of that Scarlet & Gray paint on his walls and garb in his closet poses a bit of a problem. The complete makeover will take a little more time, but he'll take a few immediate steps to show where his allegiance now lies.
"It's kind of funny, but I am going to walk into school tomorrow with a Michigan shirt on, and people are going to just about fall over," Mealer said laughing. "I'm going to have to get something up on my walls until I can paint them Maize & Blue. I'll just some posters over it."
With his choice of schools now solidified, Mealer is hoping that a friend of his will follow suit and commit to spending his collegiate career in Ann Arbor as well.
"Kevin Koger is a good friend of mine," Mealer said. We've played on the same AAU team since seventh grade. I actually called him before I called Coach DeBord. I told him that I had really been thinking about it and I was going to commit tonight. He sounded like he was about to jump out of his seat! I can't speak for him, but he's been a Michigan fan his whole life and I think Michigan would be a good fit for him too if he decides to go there. I'd really like that."