Just when his recruitment seemed to be picking up steam back in the spring, Titusville, FL WR Willie Haulstead took himself off of the market… kind of. The 6-3, 205 pounder pledged to the Seminoles on May 16th, but also made it clear that he still planned to take a few trips. Right around that time, the University of Michigan jumped more definitively into the mix offering him a scholarship. The persistence of their pursuit has not waned in subsequent months, and those efforts seem to be paying off.
"I'm definitely interested in Michigan," Haulstead said. "I talked to (his Michigan recruiter) Rod Smith (Tuesday, July 29th). He was telling me how they needed to get me up there. He was saying Michigan's needs a big-bodied, fast receiver on the outside that can dominate one on one (match-ups)."
Haulstead is definitely confident to be that kind of player.
"You can compare me to Andre Johnson," he said referring to the Houston Texans wideout. "I had one of the best seasons in the county. I had about 36 catches, for about 800 yards, and 13 touchdowns."
The Sunshine State star indicated that he also wouldn't mind being compared to one of the Wolverines' recent pass catching standouts. His interest in Michigan actually began with his appreciation for the Maize & Blue's big play wideout the last few years.
"I like Michigan because of Mario Manningham," said Haulstead. "I used to look up to him because he is a receiver that stuck out at his school like I did. Then I like it because of the coaches. They were recruiting me at West Virginia at first, and then they started looking at me at Michigan. Plus I know Martavious Odoms. He is from Pahokee and I'm from Belle Glade."
The next step for the Rodriguez & company will be to secure one of the four-star wideout's visits. Haulstead has not tripped to a school other than Florida State, but he plans on changing that when the season rolls around.
Time will tell whether Michigan's conspicuous status as the lone northern school on Haulstead's list will be a factor. At this point he insists it won't be.
"(Distance) ain't no problem with me," he said. "I ain't never been out of Florida before except for one time to a football camp, but I can handle it."
While it's clear that the Wolverines have gained ground in Haulstead's recruitment, they are still chasing a few other programs.
"My top five (in order) is Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina, and Auburn," Haulstead reported. "I'm making my decision on signing day."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Haulstead in the coming months.