It seems only natural for a legacy recruit to take a strong interest in the school for which his father was a football standout. That, though, wasn't always the case for Sylvania (OH) Southview DB Allen Gant. The class of 2012 star is the son of former Michigan defensive back Tony Gant (82-86), but he grew up an Ohio State fan thanks in large part to an uncle that coached for the Buckeyes. Still, dad would often attempt to wield his Maize & Blue influence to keep the fire for his alma mater alive. Despite his best efforts, that flame almost dissipated. Young Gant emerged as a hot commodity in Ohio after a stellar freshman campaign. Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, and a host of others began demonstrating interest over the next year. At the same time, he began to question whether the Wolverines had any interest at all. That prompted his father drive him up to Ann Arbor Tuesday for an impromptu visit.
"It went great," Gant said Wednesday evening. "Talking to Rich Rod, he really impressed me. They are definitely interested in me and I've got a lot of interest in them. I'm going to continue going back up there."
"My dad said he only recognized a few people," Gant continued, "but mainly he just said that he was glad to get what we could get out of the experience. He was really impressed with how things went today."
One of the points of emphasis for the coaching staff was explaining to Gant why there has been less correspondence from Michigan compared to the other schools courting him.
"Rich Rod said I was on their radar, but he said with all the NCAA violations he just didn't want cross any lines or anything like that. So they were always interested in me, they are just being extremely careful with (recruiting)."
That explanation definitely sufficed and the Wolverines took a significant step toward making up ground on the Buckeyes.
Said Gant, "before I just didn't have a very good idea of what Rich Rod and his staff were about, but after today I feel a lot more comfortable with them. I know that they're interested in me. They're on my radar with all the other schools that were recruiting me."
Michigan's continued courtship will receive assistance not only from his dad, but also from a cousin named that just happened to win a Heisman Trophy for the Wolverines. Charles Woodson had had limited contact with Gant over the years, but they were able to reconnect a few weeks ago while mourning a death in the family.
"Well my aunt (who was married to Charles Woodson's father) died and he flew down from Green Bay for the funeral," Gant explained. "We had a chance to spend some time together. First all, he kept saying ‘Go Blue' and that Michigan is a great school. Then he gave me some advice. He said as a defensive back when the ball is in the air I have to become a wide receiver. I have to go after it like it's mine. And I have to admit that really helped me a lot in the passing tournament we participated in recently."
"We'll try to keep more in touch."
So too will he and Michigan.