"When I woke up this morning, I just saw all the messages saying Fleck was leaving Western Michigan, and I didn't know what to say when I saw it," Illinois offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz explained to GopherIllustrated. "Like I was just thinking to myself, could this be the opportunity I was looking for because as a little kid I always wanted to play Big Ten. Coach P.J. Fleck told me to call him around 9 PM tonight and he offered me at Minnesota then. I talked with my family afterwards, and then made the decision I wanted to be a Gopher."
"He said he wanted to offer me tonight because he loves the way I play and he likes how physical I am as a offensive lineman," Schmitz said to GopherIllustrated. "After Fleck offered, my family and I talked it over, saying if it was the right decision for me, and we thought it was the right fit. So I made the call back to coach Fleck that I wanted to commit to come with him to Minnesota. He was very excited, and now I'm pumped to be a Gopher. I'd say what I do best as an offensive lineman is how I move well, and can get to the second level and do damage. All I know about Minnesota is it's cold up there, but I know that the new facilities are being built and should be done by October."
Schmitz just knew that he couldn't pass up a chance to play in the Big Ten.
"Following coach Fleck to Minnesota just means a lot because I get to play in the Big Ten. I always wanted to play in the Big Ten since I was a little kid, and now I'll get my chance. Coach Fleck has something special going, and I want to be a part of it. His energy just motivates you and gets you pumped up. That's the coach I want to play for. I believe I'll be playing guard there, and I'm definitely good with that. I want Minnesota fans to know I can't wait to be a Gopher, and Ski-U-Mah!"