Michigan was seemingly out of the running from Northmont High (Clayton, Ohio) standout Zebrie Sanders, but moments before the kickoff of the Maize & Blue’s match-up with Eastern Michigan this weekend, the 6-6, 270-pound lineman showed up at the Big House for an unofficial visit.
“It was pretty good,” Sanders said regarding his time in Ann Arbor. “I watched the game and afterward I talked to Coach Moeller and Coach DeBord. After the game they told all the other prospects to go, but they wanted me to stay. They took me over to the Champions center to talk to me. They said that they needed a tackle because Jake Long was leaving and that I’d be the perfect fit for them. They talked about the offense that they ran and how I could mold into it. They also wanted to know how I’ve been, just in general.”
At one point the Wolverines were in Sanders’ top three, but they fell out of it by mid summer. The talented youngster now has Florida, Georgia, and UCLA at the top of his list, but he insists that he never eliminated Michigan.
“They were still one of my schools that I was considering,” said Sanders. “It was just that I really hadn’t had any contact with the coaches. Plus I’m interested in different colleges and I had my chance to go see them. So a lot of other colleges have been on my mind and that’s why I haven’t been talking about Michigan as much.”
“They invited me to every home game and I decided to go to that one because I told everybody that I was going to go to a lot of Michigan games this year,” he continued. “This one seemed to be perfect one to go to. I went up there with my mom and my best friend and I had a good time in Ann Arbor.”
One of the longstanding factors that had been working against Michigan was its status as the only northern team on Sanders’ list. Now, however, it’s a consideration that he suggests is a little less important.
“It really doesn’t matter,” he said. “When I was up in Michigan this weekend it was still hot. But I do know it’s going to be different at some point in time.”
One big feather that the Wolverines have always had in their cap is a favorable depth chart. The Michigan coaches hammered that point home to Sanders on his visit.
“They’re saying that I can compete right away,” he said. “Michigan promised me that I could be first or second team right off the bat.”
Sanders plans to hit the road again very soon so he can move closer to getting his visits over and done with. He doesn’t want his recruitment to become a long drawn out process.
“I’m definitely going to take all five trips before I make my decision,”
he said. He made an official visit to Florida on the Sept. 15th weekend and as far as the others he said, “I haven’t figured out all of them. I know I’m going
to go to Georgia (Nov. 11 weekend) and I know I’m going to try to go up to LSU, but the
other two are wide open."
As far as a timetable, he said, "I’m going to make my decision right after my season is over. I don’t plan to linger with it after the season. When my season is over and I’ve made all of my officials, I’m going to sit down with my parents and decide who I’m most comfortable with.”