Sam Webb: Let's back up a little bit and just tell me Michigan's approach. How hard and how heavily did they really come after Carlton?
Clennie Brundidge: "Can you get a better word than relentless (laughter). Truly, I really thought that he would be wearing the Green & White to be honest with you. There was a time where we would go to the Michigan State games and stuff. They were kind of okay. They talked, and being new to all this excitement of college football and all this… I thought, ‘hey what the heck, a college football game.' Being new to recruiting, they really didn't talk to us. We were just one of many recruits. I understood that it is a game because I went through it with my older son (Dale Brundidge). Coaches are not forthright in many areas. They lead you to believe things and they leave you hanging. So you can understand the skepticism, especially when I was there and just part of it (with Dale). I leave every time thinking maybe they're interested, maybe they're not. I see all these kids – you can't recruit everybody. So that threw up a red flag. And then if they talked, they didn't talk to me per se. They talked to Carlton. Sam you know me, I know you know that you can't have a template for recruiting. Meaning you have to do your homework to understand who is going to be the decision maker in the process. If you go to the store and the clerk isn't going to make a decision whether you get your money or not, you're wasting your time talking to the clerk. Give me the person who is going to make the ultimate decision, right? When we went there, they never really talked to me. It was like they were recruiting Carlton. You've got to recruit my family. I'm the one who spent all those hours with my son. I've got to understand that. It is like a girl. You are going to be skeptical, if the boy… ‘mom I've got to go.' ‘Well where is the boy?' ‘He's out in the car.' Damn coming into the house, ‘hey, Mr. Brundidge how are you doing; what can I do for you. I really like your daughter, we hitting it off and all that.' (Without that), you may be a freaking rapist or a murderer, I don't know. That's where I was concerned."
"Carlton would go (to some of the games) with one of his coaches… I didn't go to any of the Michigan games. So finally I went to one, and it was a little different. Beilein embraced us. He was just talking to me, talking to Carlton. I was like, ‘wow, where is this coming from.' I had up my guard to be honest with you and they didn't know how to take me at Michigan. Slowly they gained my trust in terms of their genuineness. Again, I'm thinking about my other son, how the recruiting process, it was pretty bad. What I liked about them was… it was like Michigan State wants him, but Michigan needs him. That's the approach they led me to. If he came up there, it was royal treatment. He came up there and either Beilein was standing outside Crisler waiting on us or he got all his coaching staff and the first time I saw that, I go ‘wow… WOW, This is unbelievable.' That little chip fell off. As I got to know the coaches, it was like you and I talking. It wasn't all about basketball. It wasn't a nonconversation, how you doing and all that, the little pleasantries. I could talk to…whether it is Coach Dunn, Mahoney…we just talk about anything. Sometimes we there after a football game just talking. I'm like ‘hey, I got to go. I've been here since such and such.' And it was that type of rapport. Carlton goes to the open gym and those kids embraced him. I asked Coach (Jackson); did you all set them up? ‘No, all we told them was that Carlton was coming to open gym'. It was like I would sit up in the bleachers and those kids would make it a point to come and talk to me. Wow, this is pretty good. Obviously you know I know Manny (Harris). I don't know Peedi (DeShawn Sims) that well. I know Jordan Morgan because I coached him a little bit and I know Eso (Akunne). I know a lot of the players and these are good kids. The Michigan kids seem to get along very well. Yeah they get after each other, but they always joking and stuff. Those types of things and Carlton saw that. They joke with Carlton and things of that nature, so he felt quite at home."
Sam Webb: I saw you guys up there, I want to say the Notre Dame week.
Clennie Brundidge: "We were there the first two weeks."
Sam Webb: One of those weeks, I swear, I walk by the tent and I saw Beilein with Carlton. In the game, I saw Beilein with Carlton. I come out of the game I see Beilein with Carlton. It looked like there were some other recruits there. I don't know if just my eyes were deceiving me, but it looked like his sole focus was Carlton Brundidge.
Clennie Brundidge: "Sam I'm telling you, he ‘wowed' me. He was ‘got to have him.' This guy was just relentless; he was like borderline stalking (laughter) in a good way. My philosophy doesn't easily tear down what he builds up. He left no stones unturned in his pursuit to get Carlton. It was just unbelievable, unbelievable."
For the rest of this feature on Carlton Brundidge, be sure to check out the next issue of GoBlueWolverine