Michigan’s dramatic victory over Northwestern may have meant more than another win in conference play that pushed them to 7-3 overall. The drama that played out could also reap positive dividends for several recruits in the stands behind the Wolverines’ bench.
One of those recruits was 2014 Bolingbrook, IL high cornerback Parrker Westphal. The four-star prospect, accompanied by his father Brian and older brother Brandon, took in the Michigan Stadium atmosphere and incredible finish. All threewalked away excited by what they witnessed.
“The coaches we didn’t really get to spend a lot of time with,” said Westphal’s father. “A few minutes in the beginning before the game and then a little bit afterwards but it’s a game day so you’re not going to get to hang out with them and wouldn’t expect to hang out with them but it is a lot nicer seeing them at the end of the game when they won.”
“It was intense,” said added Brandon. “You felt the energy from all 112,000 fans to the 11 players that were on the field at the time, and I haven’t always been around a fan base like that as far as home fans. But being here and being able to feel the energy from them you never heard Wolverine fans get down on Michigan. They were always just in the game with them and it was a great experience for me.”
“I was shocked,” said Parrker. “When I woke up in the back of the car we were stopped a red light and there was twenty cars in front of us and there were thousands of people walking to the stadium. I was just amazed at the amount of people.”
Almost as shocking to Parrker was the number of fans that knew who he was and stopped to give him a few biased words of encouragement. It’s something Westphal himself admits hasn’t happened at other stadiums.
“When we first walked out of the tunnel they kept yelling my name,” he said. “Then me and my brother went to get food at the concession stand, five people stopped us in the middle of the steps talking about how I need to be a Wolverine. That was cool.”
Parrker also kept a keen eye on the Michigan secondary. He saw unit that was challenged by Northwestern, and he got an up close and personal view of what his responsibilities might be in Ann Arbor under Greg Mattison. Although Westphal is a corner by trade, he could do some moving around based on the scheme.
“The defense they run is good,” said Westphal. “Me and Mattison went over it and then they’ll have me at the nickel sometimes.”
With developing relationships with a few of the Michigan coaches, the brief words they were all able to exchange with one another centered around one topic and one topic only.
“Today they were just talking about how bad they want me to come to Michigan and be a corner,” said Westphal.
“I speak with Coach Mallory, Mattison and Coach Singletary. I’ve met Coach Mallory in the weight room a couple times. He’s a cool guy; he’s a DB coach. He really wants me at cornerback. And Coach Mattison he coached at the Baltimore Ravens and has coached Ed Reed and Ray Lewis so hes got very good experience. And Coach Singletary played with my coach Todd Howard so we’ve got connections with them.”
After declaring Michigan to be “the standard” in a recent interview with GoBlueWolverine, Westphal elaborated on the telling comments and the reasoning behind them.
“Academically they’re ranked 12th in the world so education is good there,” said Westphal. “All the facilities they have, two indoor practice fields, the weight rooms good. They have a track team so they just have good things to offer.”
Written story by Kyle Bogeschutz
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for part three during which the Westphals discuss his decision timeline and more.