Brandon Kearney isn't a stranger in Ann Arbor. The Detroit Southeastern guard has made it to numerous basketball games over the past few years, has taken in a few football games at the Big House, and last summer had an in-depth unofficial visit with Michigan headman John Beilein. All of that familiarity with the Maize & Blue, and still he and his family were wowed by the presentation put forth by John Beilein and his coaching staff Wednesday evening.
"It was fun," said Kearney. "It was different. (Beilein) was basically like, ‘let's get it done.' Before it was like he is playing around with it. This time he was straight out with it… ‘let's get it done!' He really put the pressure on me today, and me and my dad came through feeling real good about the whole situation."
That positive vibe actually started long before Kearney & company hit campus Wednesday. Michigan's breakthrough season on the basketball floor made a strong impression on this talented prospect, and it further illuminated Beilein's blueprint for success. Yesterday's visit gave Beilein the opportunity to reiterate to his potential pupil how he fits into that picture.
"I would play some of the wing and some of the point," stated Kearney. "He said that it's because of my (basketball) IQ. My IQ alone will set me up at so many positions on the court. I could do a lot of the things that Manny does."
The fullcourt recruiting press was music to the ears of a youngster that has grown up in a Michigan family. Dreams of following in the footsteps of cousins Stan and Braylon Edwards have made Kearney a more than willing target. During the final meeting of the night, Beilein came extremely close to hitting the bullseye.
"He was like, ‘what do we have to do to get it done,'" said Kearney recalling his conversation with the Wolverines' headman. " He asked me how I felt about the whole situation and I was like, ‘I'm real close to committing. REAL close.'"
Kearney's lead recruiter, assistant Mike Jackson, offered a gentle push of his own with a brief cautionary tale.
"(Jackson) was saying how I shouldn't be waiting to see if Trey (Zeigler) and Ray (McCallum) were going to commit," the 6-5 combo guard remembered. "He said maybe it could be vice versa -- if I commit, then maybe they can commit. He took it back to where Alex Legion was like ‘if Manny comes, I'm going to come.' That is how (Legion) got screwed up or whatever. Manny didn't (wait on anybody else) and just went ahead and decided to come."
That advice only added to Kearney's growing temptation to take the plunge. As easy as it would have been to offer up a pledge right then and there, father and son opted for the more difficult choice. They thought it more prudent to let the post-visit glow wane a bit before making a decision that might later be deemed as hasty.
"I have to talk it over with my parents and just everybody in my circle," he explained. "That's my mom, my dad, and Stan. I really have to talk it over with them. It's a matter of talking it over with my people. I know being at Michigan, a degree means so much. It means so much to the job industry in America or the world period."
So is there a specific timeframe in which a decision could come?
"That's a tough question," Kearney admitted. "I say that I am close, but like I said… I still think that I've got to talk it over with the people in my circle. But it's real close."