Before there could be a “McDoom chant” that roars through the stadium every time true freshman wide receiver Eddie McDoom touches the ball, the Florida native had to find his way to Ann Arbor.
McDoom was a late addition to Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class, committing just six days before National Signing Day.
It wasn’t his dream school. Not growing up, at least. That was Oregon. After initially committing to the Ducks on a visit, McDoom took an official visit to Michigan on Dec. 11, then left the Oregon class two days later. On Jan. 22, McDoom took another visit to Ann Arbor. Five days later, he announced his commitment.
For McDoom, it was always going to be Oregon. The neon uniforms, the electric offense – it was all he wanted. But then he met Michigan. He met quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch. And he met Jim Harbaugh.
And now, his unique last name can be heard from the crowd at home and away games, as his last name has become one of the most popular in the country.
Here’s a look back on McDoom’s journey to Michigan.
High school: West Orange (Fla.)
Senior Dimensions: 5-foot-11, 170 pounds
Position: wide receiver
Ranking: 3-star, No. 65 WR, No.56 in Florida and No. 406 overall
Other notable offers: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas
The first making a freshman impact: “I knew, when he’s starting as a slot receiver as a (high school) freshman, he was something special,” McDoom’s high school position coach Joseph Light said.
Becoming the man: “His senior year, he was the go-to,” Light said. “He was the man. He was our deep threat, slot guy and took some punts back. We put him outside, inside and had him run jet like he does at Michigan now.”
Becoming great: “With Eddie, he’s one of the most humble, down-to-earth, hard working kids I have ever coached,” Light said. “Nothing gets in his head. He’s easy-going. I knew Eddie could be successful anywhere he went and could make an impact immediately.”
Pulling away from Oregon
Saying no to his favorite school: “He grew up a lifelong Oregon fan, and he went there for his first visit,” Light said. “I told him to not commit; I told him to take his visits. But he went there and committed. I met Coach Lloyd Carr, and loved how Michigan carried themselves. Now you have coach Jim Harbaugh, one of the best coaches. I felt it was a great fit for Eddie. It gives him a chance to play on Saturdays — and Sundays.”
When things changed: “When I visited (Michigan), it just felt like home,” McDoom said. “I felt like I could do something here. The pro-style offense wasn’t like Oregon’s, but if I want to make it to the NFL, then I should be in an offense for four seasons that’s run like one.”
The day he chose Michigan: “We loved coach Jedd Fisch, but the closer was during our football banquet,” Light said. “We had to delay it an hour, then (Eddie) walked in with Coach Harbaugh, and Harbaugh gave a great impromptu speech. Then, we all knew, he’s going to Michigan. I’m all Go Blue now, Hail to the Victors – all of that. I’m a fan because of how good Michigan has treated Eddie.”
How did that moment come to be? “I told Coach Harbaugh during his in-home visit with me that I was running late,” McDoom said. “He told me he was going to come with me and give me a ride over.”
Better late than never: “I think (late commitments) are good because it shows what Michigan has to offer and the tradition here,” Michigan offensive coordinator Tim Drevno said. “Recruiting is competing, and that’s why there’s a signing day, it all goes down to the wire.”
True freshman making an impact
The speed, the speed, the speed: “Eddie is explosive, he’s quick, he can catch a ball and turn a corner,” Drevno said. “You don’t see that very often. I love his work ethic. He’s quiet, but he works hard, and we appreciate it.”
When the McDoom chant roars: “I think it’s pretty nice. I never heard it in high school, and to hear it in the biggest stadium is great,” McDoom said. “I heard it at the away games, too. I’m pretty sure Rutgers fans chanted my name, too.”
Fast talk: “I feel like I’m the fastest guy here,” McDoom said. “That’s how I’m always going to think. I’m not for sure that I’m the fastest, but that’s how I’m always going to think.”
His favorite play: “When I had the reverse with Jehu Chesson. That was a lot of fun.”
Leaving SEC Country for the Land of 10: “Everyone keeps saying, ‘Why didn’t you go to Florida or a SEC school?’ The SEC is great and all, but I think the Big Ten is way better,” McDoom said.
Learning from the seniors: “(Amara Darboh) is a boss. He’s one of the best ones here, him and Jehu,” McDoom said. “I’m trying to learn from them, and I think I can make plays like that in the future.”
The ultimate goal: “I want to get a good education, most of all, and I want to be able to graduate and go on to the NFL.”
Michigan hasn’t made McDoom an every-down wideout just yet. But when he touches the ball, he’s averaging more than 11 yards a pop. As a true freshman, he is seen as one of the team’s best offensive contributors when the ball is in his hands.
He said no to his lifelong passion for Oregon, and left SEC Country and his family in the heat of Florida to head north and join the Michigan Wolverines. Just a few months into his career here, he — and his coaches — sound thrilled with his change of heart during recruitment.
It’s quite a beginning for the speedy Jamaican wide receiver from the Sunshine State, one that, if he continues, will no doubt add to the ranks of the “McDoom”-chanting fans.
All ratings are from 247Sports.com’s composite rating system, unless otherwise noted.