Plantation, Fl safety Vlad Emilien had a favorable impression of Michigan before ever setting foot on the campus, but after traveling to Ann Arbor with teammate Josh Robinson last weekend, he holds the Maize & Blue in even higher regard.
"Everything went real good besides the loss," Emilien said. "I liked the bonding on the team and I liked talking to the coaches. I think Josh enjoyed it too. Josh is very relaxed, but I think he really enjoyed the experience. It seemed like (the coaches) would be somebody we could talk to on and off the field."
After suffering through a loss in which the safety play was one of the primary culprits, the coaches' message to Emilien about the opportunity to get on the field as a freshman wasn't subtle.
"They were hitting me hard with the' you would have a chance to play right away,'" Emilien said. "They said, (Michigan) was the place to be, especially if you are trying to come in and play early because they have a young team. You can compete for a position and compete for a spot on the field. They said, ‘if you want to compete, you might as well just come here and compete. This is the best chance you'll get right now because everybody is young.'"
"A lot of the players were on me too," Emilien continued. "Brandon Smith was on me the hardest. He had his appendix removed and it threw him off because he was planning to play this year. He is planning to come back during the spring and trying to ball and trying to get a starting position."
Both Smith and the coaches spoke of brighter days on the horizon, and Emilien shares in their confidence direction in the future.
"Michigan is always going to be Michigan," Emilien stated. "Everybody has a down season. Miami went 5-6 the other year and that was the first time they had a losing season in like 12 years. So everybody is going to have their downfall, but it's about how they bounce back and how they recruit. (It's about) who is eager to go out there and make Michigan what it used to be and what it could become. I want to be a part of that history."
Does that mean Michigan is the leader?
"I can't decide who is on the top of my list because I still consider everybody equal until I go on all of my official visits," he said. "I still got Stanford to visit and I was thinking about visiting Ohio State once again until I figure out my decision."
Stay tuned, as GoBlueWolverine will have more on Emilien in the coming hours.