When South Grand Prairie, TX ATH Dewayne Peace traveled to Ann Arbor last week for Michigan's annual summer camp, he did so with the intention of gathering more information for a recruiting process that he thought would last another few months. When he left the Great Lake State, however, he knew his timetable had been expedited. It wasn't long before he realized that he wanted to be a Wolverine.
"I ended up picking Michigan over Kansas because Kansas and Texas A&M were the two schools that were up there with them," Peace said Thursday evening. "But Michigan ended up prevailing. It's just Michigan. What can I say? It's the most winning program in the country and it's best fit for me. I (came to the decision) after talking to some players that came from Texas and seeing what they thought about the (offensive stats) from West Virginia because Rich Rodriguez came from there. Then it was just looking at the program."
One former pro player's words carried more weight than any others. His endorsement of Michigan proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back.
"Larry Brown was instrumental in this," Peace's father said regarding the former Super Bowl MVP for the Dallas Cowboys. "He came by Sunday and he helped weigh the pros and cons. He said Michigan was a really good program. He also talked about how he went to a small school and played, but they lost a lot, and you get tired of losing. At Michigan you aren't going to lose like that."
"He was just telling me to look at all angles and make sure I'm making the right the decision," Dewayne added. "The biggest thing he said was that is a good place to play. That kind of helped me made my mind up."
When Peace called to give Michigan headman Rich Rodriguez the news, he heard a celebration on the other end of the line.
"He said, ‘you made my day,'" the youngster recalled. "He said, ‘we can't wait for you to get up here. We know we have to wait another year, but we're already real excited. Then Coach Magee got on the phone and said they can't wait to get me in the program. He said he thinks I can come in and play as a freshman… and if I'm good enough I will play. They were just telling me how much they love me and how glad they were that I committed."
Based on the conversation with offensive coordinator Calvin Magee, one might assume that Peace's Michigan career will be spent on the offensive side of the ball. That assumption, however, would be premature.
"Coach Rodriguez told me that my first two years, I'll probably go back and forth," reported Peace. "In my third year they'll make a final decision."
Tonight's commitment to Michigan marks the end of Peace's recruitment. When asked if he would follow through on his planned visits to Florida State or any other school, he said, "I don't see a reason." His focus has now switched from his recruitment to improving his game and recruiting others to Michigan.
"I'm working on just getting bigger, stronger, and faster. My dad has me with a couple of trainers. The main thing that I do is velocity training to get my speed up."
"I'm going to work to help get other guys to Michigan," he continued. "We have a linebacker at South Grand Prairie who has nine offers. We've been kind of banking on going to the same school. I already talked to coach about it a little bit. I'm going to send them his highlight tape and everything. His name is Thomas Ferguson. He is about 6-1.5 195 pounds and he is a really aggressive linebacker. He has offers from Nebraska, Arizona, UCF, Colorado, Colorado State… so he's up there."