The fierce rivalry between Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South spilled off of the playing field for one unsuspecting prospect this off-season. South’s Reid Fragel is one of the more heavily recruited prospects in the state of Michigan, currently ranked #7 on Allen Trieu’s in-state top 150. That said, he wasn’t totally aware of all of the schools that were interested until recently. As it turns out, a few college programs had sent correspondences intended for Fragel to Grosse Pointe North. There the mail sat for months until a friendly adversary turned it over.
“It was Ohio State and Alabama,” said Fragel regarding the programs that had the high schools mixed up. “One of my teachers at my school actually coaches for (North) and he handed me the envelope one day passing classes. He just said, 'This is for you. It came to our school. We have had it.' I was a little bit upset at first. I was kind of curious to know from where they were from and when they came. Once I found out, it was a little disappointing that (North) did that.”
Fragel soon put those feelings aside and began focusing on the news. It was now understood that Ohio State was interested and he immediately made it a point to make it clear that the feeling was mutual.
“My dad actually called up Coach Peterson and cleared things up,” Fragel reported. “I guess they had a big question mark next to my name on the board for recruits. He cleared that up and we went down there for a visit. We talked quite a bit and walked throughout their facilities. They blew me away. The facilities are state of the art and completely excellent. Michigan State’s weight room kind of resembles Ohio State. It has got a really big ceiling, but Ohio State has a second level to theirs where they have cardio and they have a game room or a player’s lounge overlooking the weight room, which I thought was pretty neat.”
Fragel had already been to junior days at Michigan and Michigan State and noted that his time on those campuses stacked up quite favorably to his time in Columbus.
“Michigan State was really good,” he recalled. “I got to sit down and talk to Coach Dantonio and Coach Staten. Coach Dantonio had a lot of good things to say and he just wasn’t really sure right now where he was recruiting me at. It sounds more like an athlete, because he is not sure if he wants me as a tight end or defense end.”
“At Michigan Coach Rodriguez and I spoke and he said that he is recruiting me strictly as an offensive tackle and he likes my athleticism for a tackle,” Fragel continued. “He sees me putting on a lot of weight and being athletic left tackle.”
Position is often a make or break factor for schools in their pursuit of versatile prospects, but Fragel insists that it won’t carry an inordinate amount of weight in his decision making process.
“I kind of sit back and look at that a bit, but I am just going to play wherever I feel comfortable and wherever I am needed,” he said. “I am completely open for whatever position at the best university and helping the team win a national championship. I am going to go to the best school possible for education. Obviously the position I am going to look at, but I have had some success at tight end this last season, so I am going to be looking at that position a little more, but I definitely would not mind at all moving to a tackle position and developing there.”
Currently Fragel is in evaluation mode while he waits for more scholarship offers to come his way. Once they do, he hopes all the legwork he has put in researching the programs will leave him in a position to go ahead and make a decision.
“I would like to commit before the season starts just to get that pressure off my shoulders for the season and focus on the football team,” he said. “But I am not going to hesitate at all. I am not going to wait it out until the day before the season. If I feel comfortable enough, I will commit early.”