ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Signing on the dotted line was one thing for Michigan’s incoming recruits, as it signified the next step in their lives: earning an FBS football scholarship and committing the next three-to-five years of their lives to Michigan football.
But Michigan’s 30 signees are more than just football players. It ends up that they’re colorful people, as well. On National Signing Day, and even in the days before National Signing Day, we saw some of those personalities stand out as they prepared to join the Wolverines.
Landof10 now has a few special moments to highlight from the final month of recruiting, right down to Wednesday’s National Signing Day in Ann Arbor, punctuated by Michigan’s hosting of “Signing of the Stars,” which introduced the incoming freshman class.
Here’s a few noteworthy moments:
Who is ready to go to Rome?
Definitely Donovan Peoples-Jones.
“There’s experiences that I’ll have here that are bigger than life,” the 5-star wide receiver said. “Not everyone’s given a chance to do this. I’m very blessed to be in this position. I’m very excited to go to Rome. It’s like, Rome? And everyone needed to have a passport to go. I’ve never been so excited.”
Asked if he has obtained a passport, Peoples-Jones didn’t hesitate to answer in the affirmative.
Some of Michigan’s players aren’t just learning to live on their own. They’re learning how to negotiate space with another person. Like Peoples-Jones, who rooms with teammate Tarik Black.
— Adam Biggers (@AdamBiggers81) February 2, 2017
Black, a wide receiver, was quick with a response:
The roles are so flipped omg https://t.co/7pfTDrnKsh
— Tarik Black (@LetmeRockk_) February 2, 2017
It was hard to tell Wednesday, as Michigan’s 11 early enrollees at “Signing of the Stars” dressed uniformly, in navy blue Michigan Jumpman pullovers, collared shirts and khaki pants. (Which might have been an ode to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. Or a mandate by him.)
However, JaRaymond Hall added a bit of flair to his ensemble — the offensive tackle wore a pair of stylish glasses with tinted lenses.
I'm coming for it all! pic.twitter.com/FVwhflcMLm
— JaRaymond Hall (@hall_american) February 2, 2017
Earlier in the week, defensive tackle Phillip Paea pointed to Corey Malone-Hatcher, a defensive end, as the glue that’s kept the recruiting class together. Malone-Hatcher also has pulled a few more players into Michigan’s 2017 fold.
Who can flash the cash?
According to Harbaugh, Biff Poggi. But it sounds like Poggi only carries American Express.
Harbaugh said Poggi, an associate head coach at Michigan, secured lodging in April in Italy for Michigan’s football team and its coaching and support staffs by using his personal credit card.
“I was on a plane to Baltimore, and it just popped in my head. I got off the plane, and Biff Poggi picked me up from the airport,” Harbaugh said. “Biff really did a lot of the legwork for this trip. He even put his credit card down for the hotel, before the trip was approved.”
What if it didn’t work out?
“We said if it didn’t get approved, we would just take our families there,” Harbaugh said.
Best recruiting visit antics?
Go-karting with defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon in Georgia was cool, and Harbaugh showing off his dance moves in the living room of defensive tackle James Hudson in Toledo, Ohio, was pretty spectacular, as well.
But to secure a commitment from 4-star wide receiver Oliver Martin, Harbaugh and passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton worked in tandem and took the plunge.
In the end, they made a splash. Literally.
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) January 31, 2017