There is little question among college coaches about just how much potential Detroit Southeastern DE/LB William Gholston has. He has size, speed, strength… everything that a big time college program wants. The primary question at this point is which of them is most equipped with what Gholston wants in a college.
"Right now in my view, it's about me getting to know people and that will help me take a deeper look at each school," he explained. "I want to be around nice people. I want to be with positive people when I go to college."
What Gholston appears to be describing is a family type of atmosphere. As he travels across the country to visit his various suitors, that will be near the top of his checklist of desirable traits. It was certainly one which he was looking for on his visit to Michigan last Saturday. A few things caught his eye right away.
"I like their tradition," said Gholston. "I have a good feeling about Michigan everyone is really happy. When I watched the players they were very comfortable and they didn't seem to be frustrated. The players seem to be really happy that they chose Michigan for their school. From the start they were ready to hit. I had a chance to see the position that I would play, I had a chance to see who plays that position and it was #9 (Marrell Evans) so I was just watching him."
Now that he has been around the program a bit more, he now believes last year's 3-9 record was an anomaly.
"Coach Rodriguez just has to get his players in there. I think they can do some things this season."
Another key part of the resurgence will be the play of the defense. New defensive coordinator Greg Robinson is charged with whipping the unit in back into shape and he spent time informing Gholston of how he would fit into the plans.
"I talked with Coach Robinson and he talked about what a good fit that I could be in their defense. I would be like a hybrid… a mix between a defensive end and a linebacker. He also told me I could come in and work for a spot on defense. That was cool because I don't want to come in and redshirt".
Gholston's fellow Detroit native Brandon Graham has also been putting in a good word for the Wolverines.
"Brandon Graham and I talk every once and a while," Gholston reported. "We talk about the recruiting process and how do you come in and start. I asked him about being the man in high school and how did he approach college when he got there. He told me to just come in and be ready to work don't expect to be given anything."
This layered recruiting effort has made Michigan a more formidable presence in the race for a player that has slanted toward Michigan State. That is due in large part to the greater familiarity that comes from visiting East Lansing a total of 13 times since the fall.
"The environment is nice up there and I get along with the coaches very well," he said. "It's in-state, I am comfortable there, and I like Coach Dantonio.
Michigan and Michigan State have the advantage of proximity on their side, but Gholston insists that won't be an overriding factor in his decision and that the out-of-state schools will get a long hard look. He took time out to comment on a few of them.
USC- "They are very well known for their skill positions and their defense. I talk with Nick Perry (Detroit King). We talked Saturday and he was giving me advice about USC but he talked to me about the recruiting process also. Nick talked to me about what to expect and what to look for."
Georgia- "I like their defense they really bring it on defense."
Alabama- "Me and John (Hankins) can go there and have a chance to play right away I like their defensive scheme."
The "John" in question in Detroit Southeastern defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins. He and Gholston are a dynamic duo on the football field, and they hope they can continue to be in college as well.
"Me and John talk all the time about what schools we are looking at," Gholston reported. "We talk about attending the same school all the time in 2nd hour, so that is something that we are looking at."
At this point Gholston plans to stay patient and continue weigh all of his options. As of today he has 15 offers to his credit, but more are surely on the way.
"I just want to take a look at all of the schools and get to know them," he said. "I want to take my time and find the right fit for me."