Many of the questions that J.B. Fitzgerald had about Michigan in the aftermath of Rich Rodriguez’s hire were recently answered in a brief but enlightening conversation the two had recently. The most pressing issues… the style of defense and his position coach… were addressed almost immediately.
“It went pretty well,” Fitzgerald said. “He told me a little bit about himself. I asked him a little bit about what kind of defense they run. He told me about how it’s real similar to the one the Patriots and Steelers run. It was pretty interesting. He let me know that Coach Casteel from West Virginia was going to be the linebackers coach. He didn’t say specifically who the defensive coordinator was going to be, but the Casteel guy is the defensive coordinator at West Virginia so I imagine that he will probably be the defensive coordinator at Michigan as well… but I’m not sure. He said that him and either Coach Casteel or one of the other coaches are going to come out and see me at my house in the next couple of weeks following the bowl game.”
Under the previous regime Fitzgerald was projected as a middle linebacker, but that is now a bit up in the air based on the new defensive scheme that will be utilized.
“(Coach Rodriguez) told me that he felt like I could play any one of the linebacker positions,” said Fitzgerald. “The way their linebackers play, they really move around a lot. So he said I didn’t really have a set position of which linebacker he wanted me to play.”
Now that Fitzgerald has a better understanding of what his future as a Wolverine might entail, the next step is determining whether spending it in Ann Arbor is still the best decision. While it’s clear he still has an affinity for the blend of academics in Ann Arbor, the total Maize & Blue package isn’t quite the same because the people aren’t. The next month will be pivotal in weighing his options.
“I’m pretty sure that there are a couple of coaches that are going to be coming to see me,” he said. “As far as it goes with me, I’m pretty happy with things at Michigan, although I told myself and my parents that if Coach Szabo were to leave I’d take some official visits and check around to make sure that Michigan was definitely 100% the place that I wanted to be. So I’m going to take a few official visits.”
“I think the top three (visits) I’m considering now are Rutgers, Boston College, and Michigan State,” Fitzgerald continued. “I tried to get out to Michigan State on a prior trip, but it didn’t work out and I never got a chance to get out there. So I’m going to try to get over there and check it out. I’m kind of in the process of setting up dates right now. I spoke with the Rutgers coach (Wednesday). I think that one is pretty much set. I think I’m going to go there are the 25th. I think the two weeks before will be Michigan State and Boston College, but I haven’t set those up officially yet.”
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Fitzgerald in the weeks to come.