- Tom VanHaaren, RecruitingNation
The Michigan coaches have already secured five offensive line commitments for the 2012 class but are still looking to add one more elite lineman. They have already built an outstanding class that includes four-stars Kyle Kalis (Cleveland/St. Edward) and Erik Magnuson (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon).
With a limited number of prospects still on the board it is imperative for Michigan to put its best foot forward with every opportunity.
This past weekend the Wolverines had the chance to host Josh Garnett (Puyallup, Wash./Puyallup), the eighth-ranked offensive tackle in the country.
Garnett had been expressing interest in Michigan from the start, but didn't really know what to expect since he's from the West Coast.
"It was way better than I expected," he said. "Growing up on the West Coast you don't see anything like that, and I didn't really realize how big the stadium was. You can't really judge it until you're in it."
The atmosphere was electric and gave him a chance to see what the rivalry was all about. Anyone who steps foot in that stadium for that game can feel the two sides, and Garnett was no exception.
"What really shocked me was the hate you could feel between the fans," he said. "I was really impressed with the rivalry, and you could tell how much the Michigan fans hated the Ohio State fans."
The fan participation and crowd noise was something that helped build the experience for Garnett. They even surprised him with the amount of recognition he got while rushing the field after the game was over.
"The game was crazy. There were more Michigan people that knew me than people in my hometown," he said. "I've never gotten that much support before, and I didn't really expect that much love for a West Coast guy."
Garnett had two familiar faces on the visit with him, his father and his friend Erik Magnuson. His father always wanted to go to Michigan, so it was an exciting experience for him as well. As for Magnuson, he has been trying to recruit his friend to Michigan for some time. After his visit, however, Garnett has now been talking up Michigan to another recruit.
"I talk to (tight end) Taylor McNamara (San Diego/Westview), and told him he needs to go out to Michigan," he said. "If it's a school you're looking at you want proven football players there with you. I've gotten to know him and you can tell he's a very experienced guy when it comes to what he does."
McNamara has recently said that there's a chance he might visit Michigan now, too. Since Garnett is talking up Michigan to other recruits, it's a good indicator of how the visit went. This visit seems to have boosted the Wolverines chances to land the four-star lineman.
"Michigan's definitely in the top two right now," he said. "I didn't realize all that Michigan had to offer until I took the trip. I think this visit opened my eyes to a different experience."
Garnett says he will most likely make his decision towards the end of January. He plans on taking visits to Notre Dame the week of Dec. 15, and is also trying to make it out to Oklahoma and Stanford. It's safe to say, however, that the visit to Ann Arbor will be hard to top.
The Michigan coaches have already secured five offensive line commitments for the 2012 class but are still looking to add one more elite lineman. They have already built an outstanding class that includes four-stars Kyle Kalis (Cleveland/St.