Berghorst ‘Thrilled' by 1st U-M Experience

Zeeland (Mich.) East freshman Johnathan Berghorst is growing into a sizeable tight end / defensive end combo. He may also grow into an equally large in-state prospect for Michigan in the 2017 class. He talked to GoBlueWolverine about how his recent Michigan visit went.

As a 6-foot-3 freshman who already tips the scale at over 220 pounds, Johnathan Berghorst is approaching football one step at a time. At the start of last season, Berghorst was determined to play on Zeeland East varsity, a goal that he eventually accomplished after dominating at the junior varsity level.

"[Last] season went good," said Berghorst. "We made the playoffs, and halfway through the season I got moved up to varsity. I got a lot of great experience."

The next step for Berghorst is to prove that he has the ability to play at the next level. While he is receiving college attention due to his defensive skills, the ability to play on both sides of the ball may open doors moving forward. After showing both competence and willingness on offense and defense, Berghorst has the versatility to be used in multiple capacities.

"I am big body who plays physical," he said. "I have athletic ability and a lot of flexibility since I can also play tight end and special teams. I am a quick learner and can adapt to new situations."

These skills have kick-started Berghorst's recruitment with an in-state presence. Jonathan has already taken trips to both Michigan and Michigan State, which he plans to return to, in addition to attending camps at Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Notre Dame.

"My visit to Michigan was on March 15," said Berghorst. "Coach Singletary had invited me to come watch the spring practice. I have been to a couple games in the Big House, but to see a practice and what goes on outside of the games was amazing. We talked about what I am up to right now, and about keeping my grades up which can open many more opportunities.

"After practice I got to meet coach [Greg] Mattison. We talked about defense and to keep getting better with my technique. Then I talked to coach [Dan] Ferringo about tight end. Then I got to meet coach [Brady] Hoke, and we discussed how the practice went—and he invited me back for the spring game."

This was a visit that Berghorst recalls fondly, as the Wolverines put together a strong presentation that was quite well-received. Berghorst will look to build on his initial visit to Ann Arbor in the future as he continues to learn more about Michigan and their coaching staff.

"It was a great experience," he said. "I was thrilled they invited me back to the spring game. I loved getting to know all the coaches a little bit and that they showed interest in me. I hope that I can continue to get to know them and stay in touch with them."

Since the University of Michigan is an in-state school located less than three hours from Berghorst's Zeeland home just outside of Grand Rapids, Johnathan has a sound knowledge base of the program thus far. His recent visit reinforced the principles that he had already held regarding Michigan.

"I know that U of M has great tradition," said Berghorst. "Great players and coaches have come from Michigan. I know that they have one of the top academic programs in the country, which is important to me."

While these aspects are all positive regarding where Michigan stands with Berghorst, the rising prospect has strong criteria of what he is looking for in a school. The Wolverines will be evaluated equally with each school that shows interest.

"I am looking for a school that I feel is right for me and I feel led there," she said. "Whether that may be close to home or farther away, it depends on where I feel best. I want to major in health science, and I want to be a collegiate strength and conditioning coach. A school with a good program in that field is another huge factor for me."

As spring practice has kicked off across the country, Berghorst has formed a tentative plan as to which schools he would like to check out. This includes a return visit to Ann Arbor, as well as other stops around the area.

"I plan on making upcoming visits to Michigan, Michigan State, and Notre Dame for their spring games," Berghorst stated. "I plan on camps this summer to MSU, U of M, Notre Dame, CMU, and WMU."

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