Father's Day: Top Recruits Talk About Dad

It is Father's Day, and for many of the Midwest's top recruits, it is a day to thank Dad for his role in life, football, and finding the right school. We talked to a few prospects about the men who made them who they are.

Jacoby Boren
Class of 2012 - Pickerington Central (OH)

Boren's father Mike played at Michigan, but Jacoby committed to Ohio State, where brother Zach plays and oldest brother Justin finished up.

"We're definitely laid back. More now than when we were younger, because he always pushed us. He knows we can do better. He was always helping us. It's one of those things, where, every day, no matter what we would do, he was pushing us to get better. I remember when we were little and he used to coach all of us in little league and when we got out of line sometimes, he was there, life lesson wise. He's a good motivator. To this day, when we're playing football, even Justin and Zach at Ohio State, we always look up in the stands for him to give us little pointers. We can't always understand him, but at least a thumbs up or thumbs down. We still look up to him to this day.

I know football wise, I remember Justin, when he was going up to Michigan, it was far and my dad would help him all the time. My dad would drive all the way up to practice, take him out to lunch and stuff. For me, I think he's always there for me. It doesn't matter what it is. If I call him up, he'll be right there.

He was real happy [when I committed]. He played for Michigan, but it's not something he's selfish with. He knows we're happy and it's great for us to be at Ohio State. He's behind us 110% in whatever we choose.

Zeke Pike
Class of 2012 - Dixie Heights (KY)

Pike, a five-star quarterback and Auburn commitment is the son of former Georgia Tech and Buffalo Bills defensive end Mark Pike.

It's been great, just him being there, always giving me advice and him being able to have knowledge from playing on every level. He's played every position, seen everything and he's had good advice to give me on how to handle different situations. It's been good to know that in different situations I've been in, I have him to lean on. It's pretty cool.

I think at the end of my recruiting process, before I decided I was going to Auburn, it was nice to have him to really just sit down and talk it out. I had narrowed it down to a few schools and we talked about where he felt wasbest for me. Having him in times where, it can be hard, because the recruiting process can be very intense and stressful for kids my age, to lean on and look to for advice was helpful. I had him to talk to about anything. He definitely helped me a lot with my decision. He's my biggest fan, and I'm blessed to have him.

When we're not talking football, we just do anything. Whatever. We'll go to a movie and hang out and go out to get food. Me, my little brother and my dad will just sit at the house and watch movies. It's good to have him as a best friend to me and my little brother. It's cool to have someone you can talk to about anything and being able to spend time with. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Wyatt Shallman
Class of 2013 - Detroit Catholic Central (MI)

Shallman is one of the class of 2013's top prospects in the Midwest, and his father, John Shallman, has been helping this budding star stay grounded.

"Well, my dad's my best friend. He's been there forever, so I love him and he's awlays been there for football and been supportive in everything I've wanted to do. He's my rock in all this recruiting. He helps me keep my mind straight, and helps me not get off my path. He's the best man I know.

Especially since he likes football, it's been exciting for him as well as me. He's been there the whole time. My dad grew up watching football. My whole family played. My grandpa on my mom's side played. My grandpa on my dad's side played. My dad always grew up loving Michigan and would always tell me about how he went to their camp, the Michigan football camp in high school and Bo Schembechler said he ran a good route. When I got my Michigan offer, he was excited. He didn't want to show it to me, but he was very excited. He shows me excitement, but he doesn't show it fully, because he doesn't want me to get a big head. He gets, in a way, more excited about these things than I do. I don't really understand how big this all is. He's been around and he understands that I'm not just going to play football. I'm going to get a degree at a great college that we couldn't pay for without it"

Riley Bullough
Class of 2012 - Traverse City St. Francis (MI)

A Michigan State commitment, Bullough's father Shane was a captain at MSU and his grandfather is also an alum.

He's been so supportive throughout the whole recruiting process. He made me keep my eyes open. We visited a few schools and he never influenced me on where to go. It was my choice. I was really appreciative of that. He's taught me so much. He was even my coach in middle school, and I've learned so much from him. He has helped me a ton. I really don't think I'd be committed to Michigan State, playing college football, if it wasn't for him.

He's definitely happy for me. Right when I told him I committed, he congratulated me and laughed a little bit. He's definitely happy, especially with Max there, we'll both be in the same place and he won't have to travel as much to different games every weekend. Me and Max will be on the same team, so he's really happy.

The biggest moment for us, I think, was when I got my first offer at Iowa. All the hard work we put in led up to right then. That offer, and all the ones following were really a speical moment each time.

Jordan Westerkamp
Class of 2012 - Lombard Montini (IL)

A Nebraska commitment, Westerkamp's father Bob is his high school coach and the team is looking to win it's third state title in Jordan's four years this season.

He's taught me everything. He's been teaching me what I know since I can't even remember. It was probably since I was six years old. Everything I know is because of him. I attribute my success to him. I wouldn't be where I'm at without my dad. It's Fathers Day, so I want to share my appreciation, and how much I love him and how much he's done for me.

My freshman year was my toughest year of football. I played varsity as a freshman. It was tough because I was younger, but my dad stuck with me through it all. That freshman year of football was really a point where my dad really stepped in and it was great. I'm so glad I have him and I was happy he stayed with me.

Ondre Pipkins
Class of 2012 - Kansas City Park Hill (MO)

Ondre grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, and his father still lives there even though his son is in Kansas City. On his way to camps and visits, though, he always stops to see dad.

He's definitely kept me on a straight line. He's an awesome dad. I couldn't ask for anything more. He definitely started me playing football. When he was coaching, I'd always be up at practice playing around. He was the first one to put me in pads and noticed my physical capabilities, and said, I've got to get this kid ready to be playing football. Him being a coach and my dad, it clicked and football became my sport.

He's definitely told me about how coaches recruit, what they tell you, things they look for, and making the best decision. Making sure you make the right decision in recruiting and finding the right relationship and team bond. He stresses a good relationship with coaches and knowing they'll be looking out for me. He's been talking to coaches, picking their brain, and finding out how I'd fit into school. I do want to be close to home. The process might end a little sooner than I expected. I can't wait to get up to Michigan to visit.

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