In the high stakes game of college recruiting, in most cases coaches are the ones seeking out the recruits. Sometimes, though, the recruit is the one doing the seeking. While it is clear that San Diego (Calif.) Scripps Ranch QB Tate Forcier has long been a prospect the Wolverines were intrigued by, they’re pursuit of the talented field general got a boost when the young man himself made it a point to make his interest in the Maize & Blue very clear.
“We were actually waiting to hear from them, and finally one day we called and got through,” Forcier recalled. “We talked to the recruiting guy and from there it was right to Coach Rodriguez. He said, ‘man your kid can really play. We really like him here at Michigan and we think he really can fit what we like to do.’”
One glimpse of Forcier on film and it’s easy to see why the Wolverines new headman is so enamored. Forcier is a dual-threat quarterback in every sense of the term and takes great pride in his versatility.
“I think I’m the most balanced quarterback in the country,” said Forcier. “I can throw whereever you want, I can run it if you want me to, I make good decisions, and I can make things happen. I’ve been taught that there is the coach’s play and then there is your play. When the play the coach calls breaks down or is taken away by something the defense does, I can still make a play. I don’t see many other quarterbacks that can do all of those things well”
Forcier backs up that talk with productivity. Last season he rushed 733 yards on 66 attempts and had six touchdowns. Meanwhile through the air he passed for 2,387 yards while completing 164/213 attempts (77%) for 21 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He gives defense fits just like his older brothers Jason (currently at Stanford) and Chris (currently at UCLA) did when they were in high school. Jason Forcier is a name that should sound familiar to Michigan fans since he was a signal caller in Ann Arbor for two seasons before transferring back out west to Stanford. Some fans have openly wondered whether Jason’s decision to leave the program would have a negative impact on his little brother’s point of view, but Tate indicated that nothing could be further from the truth.
“It’s nothing like that at all,” he said. “Jason is actually encouraging me to get out to Michigan and really see it for myself. He said it’s a great school with great tradition. I already know the academics are outstanding. He thinks I could really do well there. He just wants me to do what’s best for me. Both of my brothers do. I couldn’t have gotten to where I am without them. It’s because of them that I’m here with all of these offers now. I’ve taken a few things from Jason, I’ve taken a few things from Chris, and then I’ve gotten some things on my own. A lot of people knew about me already because of them. Plus they’ve given me a lot of advice. One of the things that Jason told me is to make sure I like my position coach… to make sure that I like all of my coaches, but especially my position coach because I’m going to be in his back pocket for four years. If I don’t like him then I’m going to be miserable.”
With news Wednesday that both Arizona State and Nebraska had decided to throw their hats into the ring, Forcier’s scholarship total now stands at 22. That’s a lot of schools to gather information on, but the confident youngster appears intent on doing just that. The quarterback situation at Michigan is one that has already been thoroughly vetted.
“If Michigan doesn’t get Terrelle Pryor then they are going to need a quarterback to run that system,” Forcier said. “I could be that guy to run it. I just have research all of my options. At Michigan, I know Coach Rodriguez won four Big East titles and went to six straight bowl games at West Virginia. I see how he helped make Pat White one of the best quarterbacks in the country.”
Forcier plans to get an up close and personal feel for his would-be college coaches in Ann Arbor and elsewhere with a visit itinerary in the coming months that will take him from coast to coast.
“I want to see as many of these schools as I can before I make a decision,” he explained. “I could decide to make a decision sometime after the spring if I find the right fit. That way I can concentrate on my team and my senior year without many distractions or too much pressure. My goal is to graduate early so I can enroll (in January) and go through spring practice. That way I can go in learn the system and be ready to compete in the fall.”
“What I plan to do is group my visits together,” he continued. “I have four or five offers from the Big Ten, so I’m definitely going to take a trip out there and visit as many of the other schools in the area that I can. I’ve got a few offers from the Big 12, I’ve got a few offers from the ACC and I want to do the same thing with those. I’ve got a few offers from the Pac 10, but won’t be such a rush because it’s closer to home and I’ll have time to work with that. I just plan to take my visits and go through it as thoroughly as I possibly can.”
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Forcier in the weeks and months to come.