Manning, SC CB Johnavon Fulton seemingly had his top five set. The Palmetto State star had settled on South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and LSU as the last programs standing. Then September 1st came and with it a slew of phone calls from a bevy of interested suitors. At that point two programs that had faded into the background of his recruitment suddenly reemerged.
Fulton has made little secret of his admiration for one of the all-time great Wolverines, but it has been Michigan's early season success… particularly the nationally televised victory over Notre Dame… that is largely responsible for reviving the Maize & Blue as an option in his eyes.
"That was a good game right there," Fulton said regarding Michigan's memorable battle with the Irish. "Tate Forcier is a freshman but he could sling the ball around like it was nothing. He's got weapons, but he's got no big name weapons right now. They could turn into big name weapons, but he's basically all they had and still he is doing his thing. You got to give him respect for that."
"I'm also looking at the playing time (at Michigan) and Charles Woodson is one of my favorite football players of all time and he went there," Fulton continued. "They're up and coming right now. They got a young quarterback and he'll still be there when I got there still putting up points and everything. I'd take care of the defensive side of the ball. It's up and coming and Rich Rodriguez will be the one to put them on top."
The point man in Michigan's effort to move up Fulton's list is defensive backs coach Tony Gibson. Scout.com's #5 corner says he and his Wolverine recruiter have established a good rapport.
"Me and him cool," Fulton said of his relationship with Gibson. "We talk at least once a week. He was telling me about playing time and all that kind of stuff. It really doesn't matter how far (away from home) it is. We got a good vibe, me and Coach Gibby."
Distance may not matter, but the winter temperatures might give him a brief pause.
"I'll probably have to get used to it," Fulton said laughingly. "We get no snow out here. All that snow… I've got to get used to it (laughing). But I'm a baller… I can play in any kind of weather."
A decision on exactly where he'll play his collegiate ball is still up in the air. That said, it won't be long before the list of contenders for his services becomes etched in stone.
"The end of October that's it... if you aint in my top five, it's over," Fulton said matter-of-factly. "I'll probably (select a school) in January. I'll wait on my dad to get back from Iraq to make a decision."
If Michigan happens to make Fulton's short list he indicated his official visit date will likely be on the weekend of the Ohio State game.