For Windsor (NC) Bertie OT Travis Bond, walking down the tunnel at Michigan Stadium proved to be a memorable experience. While the recruits were filing out of the hallowed passage prior to the game, a number of people the stands recognized him and immediately began letting him know it.
"The fans were chanting my name," Bond said. "They were telling me I should come to Michigan."
The warm welcome from the Maize & Blue faithful was welcome, but the greeting he received from the crisp cool air upon reaching the field was not.
"I was real cold," Bond said matter-of-factly. "It wasn't too cold, but I was cold (laughing). But I liked (Michigan) a lot. It was about what I expected. I liked everything about it. I really can't tell you no faults that they had."
Particularly memorable was Bond's interaction with the coaches and players. With personal relationships being one his primary decision criteria, he paid very close attention to how comfortable he felt with the people he's be around the most should he decide to attend Michigan.
"I hung with an offensive lineman named Patrick Omameh, which was good. The strength coach was very energetic. I also met Ms. Shari to talk about academics… a very nice lady. With Coach Jackson (Bond's primary recruiter) it's a good vibe. We communicate a lot. We talk a lot. I talked to the offensive line coach (on the visit) too. He was a straight up guy. He doesn't cut corners and he'll be real honest with me. I'd never met him before, but it just seemed like I'd been around him before."
The game seemed to be the only damper on the occasion, but neither that nor Michigan's struggles throughout the year proved to be spoilers.
"Everybody has a tough season," said Bond. "They have a lot of freshmen, so I'm not really concerned about that. They were talking to me a lot about how I could play right away. I like the school so I'm not really concerned with what their record is. They play hard, they've got a lot of freshmen, and I think they'll be good in the future."
The Wolverines surely bolstered their chances in the race for Bond's services, but he hasn't yet determined a hierarchy amongst his favorites. He may not do so for quite some time.
"I don't have anyone at the top," he said matter-of-factly. "Everybody is right there together. I like the players and I like all of the campuses. It's going to come down to which one fits me and my major (business) the best, which one makes me feel the most at home, and which coaches have the best vibe with me and my mindset."
"I'll make my decision whenever I feel the time is right."