Arizona lineman has Michigan connection

6-foot-5, 260-pound Andre Yruretagoyena has a strong interest in the Maize and Blue. The Scottsdale (Ariz) Chaparral offensive lineman discussed with GBW his curiosity in Michigan football, as well a what he is looking for in the schools that are recruiting him.

Andre Yruretagoyena has had an up close and personal look at the University of Michigan. That is because two former teammates, Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh, attended the school, both have talked with him about Michigan. It is Lewan in particular that he keeps in close contact with in regards to Michigan.

"I talk with Taylor almost on a daily basis. He really likes it up at Michigan. He loves the people, the education he is receiving, and he told me the facilities are great. I recently had a chance to see him and he has gotten huge; he said as a player that he is better as well. Taylor likes the strength and conditioning coach (Mike Barwis); he says he is a really good coach. I always wanted to see the Big House, it looks fun there. Taylor told me to see all those people cheering for you while you are warming up feels good".

As an offensive lineman he is very familiar with what Michigan is running on that side of the ball.

"We run the same offense that Michigan runs. Our coaches went up there in the summer to learn from Coach Rodriguez and came back and installed Michigan's offense into our offensive game plan. Last season we won the state title -- I was so excited; our team will be receiving our rings soon."

Although he is an offensive player there is one player he was quite impressed with while watching the Wolverines.

"Brandon Graham is a freak of nature. That guy is a tank, his mentality is that of an animal. I really like him."

Just a few years ago Andre Yruretagoyena was clearly not the football player he is today. The young man struggled with football. He had the talent but he need to make the decision that he was going to play better.

"I had to adjust my mentality, the way I approach football, I needed to break out of the shell I was in. After watching Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh I just let it all go from the inside, and I have been progressing ever since."

After Andre changed his approach and his mentality things started to fall in place shortly after this past signing day.

"My head coach told me Michigan called and I needed to call them. Well I called and Coach Tony Dews told me that Michigan was offering me a scholarship. Man I was so surprised and happy about that. I couldn't believe that I had two offers, one from Arizona (they offered first) and another from Michigan, within one hour. I also had a chance to talk to Coach Rod Rodriguez -- he is a really cool guy, I enjoyed talking with him. Taylor told me that Coach Rodriguez truly pushes the players a lot to be better. I like to hear that."

With the recruiting process continuing to heat up for Andre, at this time he has 11 offers: Michigan, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington Colorado, Kansas, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State and South Dakota State.

There are four schools recruiting him the hardest, and he gave his thoughts on them in particular order.

Michigan- "The Big House that is a nice stadium, my teammates are there and I really like Coach Rodriguez and Coach Dews..."

UCLA- "Good education, they are on the rise, I like the location and the coaches."

Arizona- "They are close to home. I receive the most letters from them and the coaches like me."

Washington- "I used to live in Washington and I have friends up there. I am developing a relationship with offensive line Coach Dan Cozzetto."

With all these schools coming after him and with Michigan seeming to have an edge because of his teammates attending there, you wonder if he has a leader at this time.

"Right now there is no leader on my board. I am just trying to get to know every school and try and make the best decision for me. My parents and coaches will help me with my decision, and I will be making that after my football season."

As he continues to be evaluated by colleges, Andre and his mom do have certain points regarding schools that are important to them.

"I am looking for playing time, I want to be comfortable with the coaches, and I would like to form a bond like a family with my teammates. The location of the school is important as well."

Andre's mom has just one point in mind, and to her it is the most important point for his future.

"My number one priority for my son is to receive a good education," said Ms. Ruthrauff. "I always tell him it is good to have Plan A but also have a Plan B just in case something happens. Education is very important for my family so that they can have choices in their life."

Andre has been receiving a lot of attention lately from colleges; what does she think about the recruiting process?

"It is incredible. I think it is a great Journey for him. I am very proud and I just want him to enjoy the process."


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