Pipkins enjoys Army experience


Five Michigan commitments participated in the Army All-America game this past Saturday. Offensive linemen Erik Magnuson (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) and Kyle Kalis (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward), linebackers James Ross (Orchard Lake, Mich./St. Mary's) and Royce Jenkins-Stone (Detroit/Cass Tech), and defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins (Kansas City/Park Hill).

Of the five in attendance, Pipkins was named the captain of his team for his hard work and performance throughout the week.

"The team and the coaches picked four captains, and we got a special shield on our helmets," he said. "It was just an honor to be named one of the leaders of our team."

Pipkins felt a huge sense of accomplishment since he wasn't even sure he would be picked for the game. He ended up being a starter for the West team, and got a chance to build some chemistry with his future teammates.

"Royce and I had a big hit on (wide receiver) Stefon Diggs (Olney, Md./Good Counsel)," he said. "It was so fun. James would come over and say that the linemen weren't getting on him because they were double-teaming me."

Since Pipkins is a defensive lineman, he even got to see what a practice could look like at Michigan when he went up against offensive lineman commit Kalis in the game.

"Kalis held his own. There was a couple plays where I didn't go anywhere and he didn't either," he said. "Kyle and I have a good relationship, and we both knew this game was for fun and points. We both knew that but we still gave each other a good matchup."

Playing with his future teammates and being around other top recruits was one of the best parts of the week for Pipkins. He said he didn't do any recruiting for Michigan because he feels if the prospects want to be at Michigan then they will.

As it usually goes, there were rumors galore at the All-American game. One rumor broke that Pipkins would entertain the idea of visiting another school, which he says is not true.

"What happened was the USC coaches were in the lobby after the game, and Coach [Ed] Orgeron from USC came up to me and asked if we could talk," he said. "I went up to my room and showered because I felt like there was no need to talk right now. USC is a good school, but I would not leave the University of Michigan, that's not in my heart."