Michigan’s contingent of commitments at this year’s Under Armour All American game is lighter than it was intended to be when the rosters were announced last summer. Gone from the player ranks are Drake Harris, Michael Ferns, and Jared Wangler… all three are out due to injury.
Harris’s absence has actually been expected for quite some time. The four-star pass-catcher missed his entire senior season with a torn hamstring. After weighing the pros and cons of playing in an All Star exhibition with his family, Harris opted not to participate.
“He just wants to make sure his hamstring is 100%,” Harris’ father told GoBlueWolverine last month. “We sat down and talked and he doesn’t want to take (any) chances. He is going to keep rehabbing so he is ready when he gets (to Michigan). "
Harris gets to Michigan next week, and because of that he decided to not even travel to Orlando as a spectator. He’s spending his last few days as a non-college student soaking up some family time. Ferns and Wangler, on the other hand, will be down in the Sunshine State to take in every bit of experience short of playing.
The decision to sit out proved to be extremely tough for both youngsters. Both waited well into December to pass on participating.
“(Ferns’) shoulder is still about three weeks from 100%,” the talented youngster’s father explained. “He wanted desperately to play. As you know it was a dream of his. It was just when you push away from the moment you realize it’s not the best thing for his future. His junior year in high school he had to take trig, calc, physics, junior and senior English, and senior government so that he could graduate in three years. To reinjure that shoulder and basically blow out his entire early enrollment is not a wise decision. He feels he has a responsibility to Michigan to enter school in the best possible condition and that would have been put in jeopardy by potentially re-aggravating that AC joint.”
“He will be in Ann Arbor on January 5th to start classes and the medical staff there can monitor the final few weeks until that thing is back to 100%.”
The Ferns’ reportedly made it to Orlando Monday night. Wangler, who also injured his shoulder during his final high school season, is set to arrive today. After being forced to the bench for a portion of his senior season his family also decided to go the “safe” route.
We’re coming down Tuesday,” said Wangler’s father John. “His shoulder is still a little sore, so we’re not taking any chances.”