For Allen Wallace's feature on Hatcher's visit, click here.
Atlantic High (Delray Beach, Fla) safety Karnell Hatcher had heard a lot of things about Michigan from rival coaches before he traveled to Ann Arbor last weekend. The struggles the Wolverines have had to weather through early this season have certainly provided with fodder, as did the proverbial “it’s too cold up there’ exaggerations about the weather. Now that he has been to the Great Lake State himself, he has his own impressions.
“My coach told me about Michigan,” Hatcher said. “It’s a Big Ten school and he told me about how after you’re done there, you can easily be successful because of all the alumni, so I just decided to take a visit there. I’m glad I did. The visit was nice. They took me out to restaurants. I hung out with the players. We went to a few parties. I was with the commitment, Darryl Stonum a lot. Me and him were just chillin. It was a nice trip. The game was nice too. There were a lot of spirited fans.”
“It was cold coming from Florida,” he continued. “I came from 90-degree weather. I was up there in 45-degree weather, but I guess you just get used to it. That not something I’m really thinking about. I don’t care about leaving the state. I’ve been in Florida all of my life, so it doesn’t matter to me. I’m just looking for big city and I want to go some place where I really get along with the players and coaches.”
One of the major selling points for the Maize & Blue is the wealth of playing time that will be up for grabs in the secondary next year. Hatcher was often reminded of the opportunity he would have to make an immediate impact.
“The visit helped (Michigan) a lot,” said Hatcher. “I knew nothing about Michigan, and now that I’ve had a chance to visit, I see some things there that I like. I like the school. Everybody I talked to, when I told them what position I played they were like, ‘yeah, we need that. We need you to come here.” Plus they said they have three leaving, so that would be a good situation for me.”
Hatcher is eyeing the safety position in college because of his punishing style of play. With Jamar Adams leaving at the end of the year, the Florida DB knows that the coaches aren’t just giving him lip service about the chance he’d have to play. That said, there are a number of other schools at which he’d also have the chance to play early, and he is still a long way from making a choice.
“I’m like Sean Taylor,” he said. “He makes the big hits out there, but he can also go out and get the interceptions. I let (offensive players) know that I’m there after I hit them. I let them know I’m coming back (laughing).”
“I’m still looking at LSU, Miami, South Carolina, West Virginia,” he continued. “I went to LSU and Miami on unofficials. I don’t have anymore visits planned, but I’m going to make it to all of the schools. I probably won’t commit anywhere until January or February.”