Michigan has the opportunity to be picky with what linebackers it takes in the 2014 class. With depth being built from the current roster and the 2012 and 2013 classes and 2014 linebacker Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) already committed, the numbers will be tight.
That's part of the reason why the coaching staff hasn't extended offers to some of the Midwest prospects that will most likely be top recruits in the area, including Tinashe Bere (Cincinnati/Sycamore).
"I've been hearing from most of the Big Ten, and also West Virginia, North Carolina and Boston College," he said. "I would really like to get offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State, though. I'm from Ohio, so it would be a big deal to get one from Ohio State. Michigan said they want a top linebacker so it would mean a lot from them, too."
He currently holds an offer from Illinois, and could be in line for more after a full summer of camp visits. Bere made it out to Michigan, Ohio State, Boston College, Wisconsin, Illinois and Cincinnati, and those trips were made partially from some advice of a former teammate.
"I've asked [current Michigan tight end] A.J. [Williams] a couple of things about the recruiting process," he said. "He told me the most important thing was going to camps and building relationships with the coaches."
Williams gave him sound advice, and Bere has taken it to heart. He's working on building those relationships with coaches, including Michigan linebackers coach Mark Smith. He says it's easy to talk with Smith and they talk about what Bere needs to do to get better on the field.
He's early in the process, but he already has started to hear about the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry as well. Being from Ohio, Bere thought it felt a little weird at Michigan's camp breaking the huddle with, "Beat Ohio," throughout the week, but he participated. He said the Ohio State coaches talked at their camp about how much the two schools hate each other, but nothing too specific.
As he gets further into the process Bere will narrow his list and figure out where he fits best. Since he had help from Williams he already feels as though he knows what he's looking for.
"Most of the coaches see me as a middle linebacker, so I'll keep trying to get better there," he said. "I'll just start to look at who I have the best relationship with, the place that I feel most comfortable at, and how many players the coaches send to the league."