For the recruits that made their way to Michigan’s campus last weekend for the Wolverines annual clash with rival Ohio State, it wasn’t hard to read the tea leaves regarding Coach Lloyd Carr’s future. His comments to the prospects were extremely telling.
“We kind of knew that he was going to do that,” said McKees Rock, PA RB/LB Christian Wilson. “When we went up there he kept talking about if he retires, what’s going to happen afterward. He kind of just said the coach that comes in is going to be a good coach. We knew that though. Michigan is not going to hire some random dude. But I kind of knew that he was going to retire.”
While Carr’s announcement hasn’t prompted thoughts of decommitting, it has cause Wilson to start considering a contingency plan.
“They said that Carr is going to stay there until the bowl game,” Wilson said. “ So if he coaches the bowl game, that’s not until January. That means that they’re not going to get a new coach, or at least announce it, until sometime in January. We have to sign a month later. I might take a couple visits just to see in case something pops off. Maybe the coach they get or the program messes up or something? I’ve only taken the one (official) and that was to Michigan.”
The question now is, which schools might he visit? Wilson had previously been placing his undivided attention on his high school season. As a result he has been racking up the yards at a torrid pace.
“Because I’ve been committed to Michigan for so long, I kind of haven’t paid attention to any other school,” Wilson explained. “It’s kind of hard for me to think of what my top schools would be again because I haven’t been to them in forever. Rutgers was in my top group, Tennessee was in my top group, and West Virginia wants me as a running back now so they’ve kind of moved up a little bit because they run the ball a lot. A lot of teams are wanting that big running back now. They see how I’m running it. I’m only 77 yards away from 2000. My line is really good. I got a lot stronger, I got a lot bigger, and I got faster. Plus now that I’ve been in there for four years, it’s like the game is starting to slow down. Everybody is not flying across my face anymore. Now everything moves so much slower for me and I can do different cutbacks and run all of the way across the field. It’s like everything I worked for all summer is happening now. Every school wants to go to this big back now.”
As is the case with many of Michigan’s other commitments, Wilson won’t make any definitive moves until the coaching post in Ann Arbor has been filled. It will be difficult for another program to unseat the Maize & Blue in the interim. Once that occurs, he will determine how he fits in.
“Michigan is probably going to stay (at the top) just because the coach
they’re going to get is going to be a good one,” he said. “I
just want to see which coaches from the staff that’s there now stays.
Coach Jackson is the running backs coach, and they want me as the H-back/running
back spot. Based on how my season is going this year, they might give me more
handoffs instead of just out in the flat routes. If he stays, that would be
a big thing because he is kind of the coach that has been looking for me to
come there big time.”