Kearney Moves Closer to Decision (Part 1)

The call came in around 10pm last night. The unofficial visit to Michigan for Detroit Southeastern sophomore's Brandan Kearney and Percy Gibson had just ended and the phoned GoBlueWolverine to dish on the experience. Judging from their excitement, it's clear that John made a profound impression on the talented youngsters. In part I, Kearney's father gives his thoughts on the memorable trip.

Sam Webb:  Alright D, take me through the visit. 

Derrick Kearney:  "The way coach (Beilein) set it up man, it was like basically like he rolled his sleeves up on BK (Brandan Kearney) and was like, 'look if you ready to commit now, go ahead and commit because I'm basically ready to get this over with.  I want you that bad.'  That's how much coach was kicking it with BK personally.  He talked to Percy (Gibson).  This was his first time up here, but Percy just walked into some (stuff) (laughter).  Percy was feeling it.  He just told Percy ‘look, we've been on Brandan for a while and now we getting ready to get on your big butt' because they've been hearing some things about Percy this past spring.' Getting up there and him talking to those guys, they envision him on being a left-handed DeShawn Sims.  There are some similarities with DeShawn's game with high school before he came to Michigan.  He was looking at Percy, like, ‘we're not going to pass on this situation.'  He is 6'8", 234.  Brandan has even gained 10 pounds of muscle to his little frame from 170.  That's from dealing with Stan (Edwards).  We got his measurements from Ohio State.  Brandan's wingspan is 6'8"-6'9" at 6'5" and Percy has a 7' or 7'1" wingspan.  When they saw Brandan and Percy get out of the car, they said that they could tell they were putting in some work in that weight room with Stan." 

"They took us to the ordinary spots like the academic building.  They took us to where the player's study at.  They showed us the nice facilities that myself and Brandan had already seen before, but this was Percy's first time seeing them.  Then we had a nice little dinner that we had to pay for.  Beilein couldn't pay for that.  It is what it is (laughing).  We watched some film.  They broke some film down on Manny (Harris) and some of the other perimeter guys… which is where Brandan would be when he is out on the court.  Then they broke some stuff down on Percy where he would fit at with Zach Gibson and where DeShawn Sims played at. "

"They just told us flat out, 'we want Brandan'.  They love his versatility.  They said he was a priority because of his IQ, personality, attitude and his potential skill set.  He said, he hadn't really been around a family like ours many times and he said that he is going to be really torn apart if he does not land Brandan.  He said he means it from the bottom of his heart.  He says that a lot of this (recruiting) stuff is orchestrated and pre-done, but he said, ‘I want to cuss right now, I can't.'  He said, ‘I want Brandan Kearney!  I don't care what nobody else says.'  He was telling me that himself.  It was great.  I was just getting goosebumps man!  I'm like, I just wish the boy would just commit now. "

"He said it is a unique situation with Brandan and Percy.  Normally, you only get one guy up here with his family or whatever, but when you got two guys that are in the top five in the State of Michigan, how in the hell can you let that get away?  That's all me and Mike Jackson kept talking about in the car.  How can you let that happen?" 

"They happen to be on the same AAU team with Trey Zeigler and Ray (McCallum), and they're on the same high school team.  One is 6'8" and one is 6'5".  They're telling Brandan, you might as well go on ahead and commit, because if you commit, you stepped up before Trey, Ray, and anybody else.  If he decides to commit, it is what it is. Now, I won't let him do it right now just because this is off the heels of that emotional speech.  The conversation that we had with all the coaches in there...  it was like we were in a boardroom meeting, man.  It got real serious.  First it was like some fun and games, we kicked it, we laughed, and we talked about a lot of things.  Then Beilein, when he got before my wife, he was like real business and he got personal.  Being up here for the second time, it made me feel like I was back being recruited again.  How can you…I can't even describe it.  It was just like that.  It was like somebody just offered you a nice position somewhere.  How can you turn that down?

Sam Webb:  When we talked after the Ohio State visit, you were real hype about Buckeyes.  How did today's visit stack up to that?

Derrick Kearney:  "Personally, I don't feel nobody can touch the State of Michigan in terms of two top schools in the State of Michigan.  I've got to give some love to Michigan State too.  That stuff that Izzo is doing up there, he is also somebody that can wow you.  My personal and my heart, growing up in a household watching all those Rose Bowls and watching all the Michigan basketball teams, I was always a Maize-N-Blue… a Michigan fan.  Stan played there, watching all his success there.  Braylon (Edwards) played there.  I'm biased.  I don't care.  I would tell President Barack Obama, I don't care.  I'm Michigan all the way.  Even when Michigan is not doing well.  Even when the football team didn't do well, I'm still there.  There is something about those winged helmets and the Michigan tradition." 

Stan, being my cousin, has had so many conversations with me and based on relationships that he has had made just from his travels, millionaires and just Michigan people all over the damn country.  The stats he was giving us, they have the biggest alumni association in the country – living.  That stuff right there just tells you, if you don't make it in sports at Michigan, whether it is football, baseball, I don't care what it is… as long as you kept yourself as a productive person, you will be straight no matter what.  As long as you are healthy and God wants you on earth, you don't have to worry about anything as far as networking.  No matter what the economy is looking like, you've got a chance if you go to Michigan.  That's what gets me over Ohio State and other out of state schools.  I always felt like this Sam, if you are a top recruit, why not stay home and let the two top teams in the State of Michigan battle it out for you?  At the end of the day, I just love Michigan.  I love Michigan State too.  I love Michigan State too, but Michigan has always been in my family, so that is why they get that edge."

Sam Webb:  Two things, first of all, it sounds like he obviously offered Brandan a scholarship.  Did he offer Percy a scholarship today?

Derrick Kearney:  "No.  He didn't offer a scholarship today, but Brandan would definitely official on June 15th.  That's been said from the past.  They want to see if Percy has more development and more hard playing.  They've been hearing a lot of stuff about him.  I believe if Percy shows them in July what he has been doing… what they have not seen because the coaches have not been out or can be out… Percy will have an offer.  They also said that, it doesn't even have to be that they offer them both of them together.  In order for this to work at any university that they would want to go to, the bar has to be real high for both of them.  I don't want to see no school want Percy but will just take Brandan or (vice versa).  This is a unique situation that Beilein is in.  He said it is a unique situation and he said it is a great unique situation because he likes where this is going."

"He likes where this is going and he said they got long strides to go.  Then he started to compare it to Manny man.  He started about Manny's situation and his maturation period.  He was just saying that Brandan is that hybrid type of a player where he can do everything.  When his body and everything finishes growing and he gets into their workouts and the strength and conditioning and all the stuff they're doing up there… he said that he normally doesn't put no tag on them like this… but he thinks that Brandan could easily be one of the special ones for real.  If you got something else you want to ask me I'm cool, but I want to throw it at them.  They're amped right now, Percy and Brandan.  You might get 10,000 words out of them.  They feel real good!"

Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more from Brandan Kearney and Percy Gibson in the hours to come.

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