Land of 10 has embarked on a series of “Next Generation” articles, a project that aims to bring our readers greater insight into the class of 2017 signees. Land of 10 Michigan writers Rachel Lenzi and Kevin Goheen are hard at work visiting this year’s Michigan incoming class of freshmen to show you more than their 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. Rachel met with offensive tackle Andrew Stueber on Monday.
DARIEN, Conn. — Andrew Stueber sat on the sidelines at Michigan Stadium in June, wiping away the sweat of an afternoon of workouts at Michigan’s first “Big Man Camp,” a day-long camp targeted to linemen.
The camp involved not only drills suited to linemen, but strength competitions such as hurling weighted balls and pushing wheelbarrows filled with heavy items. Those feats of strength offered a chance for hopeful linemen to audition for an opportunity to play college football, to impress Michigan’s coaches and alumni who assisted at the camp.
As Stueber talked with his father David, a Michigan football staff member approached the 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive tackle, and summoned him to talk to offensive coordinator Tim Drevno.
Drevno didn’t waste time getting to the point: He wanted Stueber to become a part of his program.
“Right on the 50-yard-line, Coach Drevno gave me a scholarship offer,” Stueber told Land of 10. “He said, ‘We want to offer you the full scholarship to Michigan.’ And that was kind of a surreal moment, one I’ll never forget.
“It was something I had dreamed of, ever since I started playing football. To finally have it happen to me is something I won’t forget, something that will stand out for the rest of my life.”
Stueber is a 3-star offensive tackle who, remarkably, didn’t begin playing football until the eighth grade in Darien, a community about 45 miles northeast of New York City that’s better known for lacrosse than for football.
Yet less than four years after he first began playing football, Stueber was deliberate in making a decision that would make an impact on his senior year at Darien High School — and one that would make an impact not only on his future, but also on the relationships he formed with people.
Stueber wanted to accept Michigan’s offer right away. But out of respect for the other programs that were recruiting him — including Boston College, Penn State, Maryland, Harvard, Northwestern and Tennessee — he wanted to offer a level of professional courtesy, as opposed to having coaches find out through the grapevine or through an announcement on social media.
“These coaches have taken the time out of their jobs to focus on building a relationship with me,” Stueber said. “I’ve developed great relationships with these coaches and I didn’t think it would be fair to make a decision without calling them and letting them know.”
Stueber also had to discuss his potential future plans with his family.
Choosing where to spend four to five years of your life after high school isn’t a decision that is to be taken lightly, especially not for Stueber, who was born and raised in Darien.
“My mom (Birgit) wasn’t out in Michigan, and I really wanted to come back to Connecticut and discuss this with her,” Stueber said. “When I went to Michigan, and when I came back, I wanted to make sure my family felt this was the right decision, too. But when I came home, my mind was made up. And my mom, she knew.”
Two weeks after his conversation with Drevno on the famed block “M,” Stueber accepted Michigan’s scholarship offer. Stueber is now one of 30 commits in Michigan’s incoming freshman class of 2017, which 247Sports ranks as the No. 5 incoming class in the country.
“A huge thing that stands out to me is how everyone is going to be able to come in and contribute early,” Stueber said of Michigan’s incoming class. “Especially the wide receivers, that’s something that’s going to be great. We’re going to have a great wide receiving corps, a great offensive line group and defensive line, and everyone can come in and contribute in some way to this team.”