The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster ride of sorts for Plainsboro South (Princeton Junction, NJ) LB J.B. Fitzgerald. In the absence of a head coach at Michigan, the Garden State standout contemplated taking another look at the program right there at home, Rutgers. When he learned that Scarlet Nights headman Greg Schiano was possibly in line to take the same post in Ann Arbor, it appeared he’d have the best of both worlds; the program he’d already determined he wanted to be a part of headed by a coach that he’d already established a relationship with.
“Probably the only school I’d take a look at would be maybe Rutgers if I were to look around,” Fitzgerald explained. “That would have been something else if (Schiano had been hired). I was pretty excited for that, but then when it didn’t go down, I wasn’t that surprised. I really didn’t see him leaving Rutgers just yet.”
Like the other commitments, there was no shortage of nervous feelings about the lingering vacancy at Maize & Blue country. Then all of a sudden a new name emerged and things started looking up again.
“I was at work and I started to get a whole bunch of text messages saying, ‘I think Rich Rodriguez is going to be your new head coach,’” Fitzgerald recalled. “I wasn’t sure until I finally got formal confirmation when I looked it up on the internet. I’m really not that familiar with him. From what I know he is a pretty good coach. He has done a great job there at West Virginia. I’m pretty excited about the whole thing.”
In the immediate aftermath of the news, many of the Wolverine commits shared their thoughts and they all seemed to be on the same page. That includes their thoughts on the importance of adding a certain five-star quarterback to their class
“I’ve been talking to a bunch of the guys and everybody is pretty excited about Coach Rodriguez” Fitzgerald said. “Kenny Demens was one of the guys calling me at work. (Many of the commitments) have talked about trying to get Terrelle Pryor in the class. I don’t know him at all. We’re all just going to try to talk him and try to get him to come. That would be like the final piece to the puzzle. It would work out perfectly. We need to get him and Brandon Smith. That would be perfect.”
“I’ve talked to Brandon, but not for a while though,” he continued. “I’ve got to give him a call and see what the deal is. I didn’t want to call him before we had a coach though. That would have been a hard sell (laughing). Now I can call him and be like, ‘do you want to play for Coach Rod?’ “
Fitzgerald himself is pretty sure he wants to play for Rodriguez, but he isn’t certain just yet. There is still a possibility that he might look around a little bit.
“I haven’t made up my mind either way,” said Fitzgerald. “I really want to see what happens with Coach Szabo. I really don’t see myself leaving Michigan. I just want to see what happens, but I’m pretty excited about what’s going on so far. I’m relieved to finally have a coach.”
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Fitzgerald in the coming days and weeks.