Kellen Jones: "It was an awesome experience"

Michigan's newest football commitment is Kellen Jones out of Houston, Texas. The linebacker prospect and his father talk to GBW about his visit, about meeting head man Rich Rodriguez, and about the atmosphere at Michigan.

"Dre, Kellen just committed 10 minutes ago!" was the initial text that GBW received at 5:45 yesterday from Sean Jones, Kellen Jones' father, about his son attending Michigan. It was the culmination of a full day on campus for the Joneses.

Kellen arrived with his family this morning about 11:00 am and immediately begin taking it all in: the atmosphere, the buildings and just everything there. Shortly after that Kellen had a chance to speak with two former Wolverines.

"I had the opportunity to meet Desmond Howard and Brandon Graham. That was so exciting. I spoke with Desmond Howard first -- I mean it was an honor to meet the guy who struck the Heisman pose. He is an all-around great guy. Desmond is also a very humble guy. He talked with me about his Michigan experience and what a family environment it is up there. Brandon Graham told me to just enjoy it. He said 'This is the place for you, and I love it!"

When talking with the Jones family they stress academics non-stop. It is the most important issue for their son. So meeting with the academic advisers was just as important if not more so than talking with the football staff.

"We had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Galimore who is an associate dean for academics. He is also an aerospace engineer and his presentation was outstanding. There was nothing forced with the way he arranged his conversation to talk about academics with us," Mr. Jones told GBW. "We sat down for thirty minutes and it was in detail as far as the help, not just our son but any kids, could have there. He said with all the players there it is no reason, if they are serious, that they should not leave with a degree. We were very impressed with him."

Kellen was equally impressed as well.

"Receiving a degree from Michigan would be great. It has the largest alumni in the world and it is a place that is well known around the country for its academics. The support that is provide for academics is outstanding; it helps you to be successful for life. I just like the way Michigan enforces academics first. I like that."

Next the Jones family had a chance to sit down and talk with Greg Robinson, the defensive coordinator, and talk a little football. Kellen listened as Coach Robinson talked with him about where he would play.

"Coach Robinson sees me at the Mike or the Wheel position. He is a great guy to talk to. I just love his enthusiasm -- he is always so hyped up. Some of the guys were telling me if you intercept a ball and start running he will be running right down the sideline with you. I like that."

Next up on the schedule was the head man himself Rich Rodriguez -- he is someone both father and son wanted to meet badly. Why you may ask? Well they wanted to see where rumor and truth met.

"I have heard the negative things about Coach Rodriguez -- and I ask how anyone can speak so negatively of this guy. He is a great person and a great coach. I see how he is around his family and how he is a father figure to the players. I sat down with him and it went great. He has things so well planned out for the future at Michigan."

Mr. Jones doesn't understand it either -- he is quite puzzled by the anti-Rodriguez stance others have.

"When we were talking I kept thinking is this the demon I keep hearing about from certain quarters ... no way. He is so nice and personable with the way he carries himself. There is no way someone can fake being that genuine. The players are always in his face every moment, having a good time being around him. I like Coach Rodriguez and what he has to offer."

The family atmosphere is something Coach Rodriguez strived to have with his players, sort of like a home away from home, and the Jones crew picked up on it quickly.

"I really enjoyed the family atmosphere they have. It is outgoing. They have a great relationship with each other. Everybody is happy, no frowns at all. The coaches are going to take care of you. They want you to succeed. They are like having uncles in college."

The manner in how the Michigan staff and players treated them was a pleasant surprise for mother and father.

"Everyone there embraced us. There were no handshakes anywhere, it was all hugs. We felt like we walked in to our cousins' home. My wife said, 'Is it really this cool and laid back?' We just felt so comfortable up there. This is tradition. This is Michigan."

Coming up for this visit, Kellen was anxious to come up here. He really wanted to see if it was the place for him. However, interesting enough, he knew where he wanted to go two weeks ago.

"My mom reads me pretty well and she knew ... so she told me just get it over with and commit already. She wanted me to skip the visits and everything and just commit on the spot."

Michigan has the kid they wanted and the kid is at the school he wanted to attend. It can't get better than that.

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