- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
WolverineNation will be running Q&A's with relatives of the Michigan commitments leading up to signing day to give their perspective on the recruiting process. Here is a look at what defensive lineman, Tom Strobel’s father, Chuck, had to say.
Q: Are you happy with the way your son's recruitment turned out?
A: Absolutely. A lot of it had to do with that he made the choice himself, and he chose mainly for the education. My wife and I hold that very highly. We really liked the coaches, and fell in love with the university.
Q: Did you think he would end up at Michigan?
A: A year ago had you asked me these questions I wouldn’t even have been able to say Michigan.
No, because initially when we were getting letters from Michigan, when RR (Rich Rodriguez) was there, I was pitching them. We were on our way to MSU and my wife said we should stop at Michigan, the two of us said, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ But we stopped, we went to the spring game, and I remember clearly, we looked at each other and said we don’t want to like this place but we really like this place.
It started from there and the coaches were just so great. Before that time the thought of me sitting there wasn’t a possibility. In the beginning he and I did not have an open mind. We were going to go up there and confirm our opinions because when you live in Ohio you hate Michigan. We had no concept of what anything would be like. When we got there we were like wow, they do have electricity.
They really impressed us the first day. The coaches didn’t know what we were thinking because we kept telling them we’re not supposed to like this. We went for a second visit and thought this might be it. Tom called even before he told us that he was committing. When he committed, I was very happy because I felt the same way he did. Prior to the first time in April it was not even a consideration.
Q: What was it about Michigan that makes you comfortable sending your son to Ann Arbor?
A: It’s mostly the coaches, I just felt that they not only really wanted him but they really cared about him as a person. I really felt like when I turn him over to them in June that they will take care of him as their own. I have no question about that. And the education aspect of it was the two things that sold me on the school.
Q: Was there anything that was unique at Michigan that separated it from other schools?
A: The education, based on we were looking at what was in the area. Stanford he really wanted to go see, but it came down to we would never get to see him. It kind of came down to the Big Ten as far as schools go, and the comparison from the schools we looked at Michigan was the best.
Q: From your perspective what was it like to go through the recruiting process with your son?
A: In the beginning it was very exciting, but little by little it became overwhelming. I felt bad for him because the phone calls were unrelenting.
Everyone was following where he was going, who he was seeing, and it was somewhat exhausting to get to the different schools. At the time I was on dialysis and had to work my schedule around to travel. I had to change my schedule and make arrangements.