- Tom VanHaaren, RecruitingNation
It has been said a lot but not exaggerated how big this past weekend was for Michigan recruiting. The game was a success on the field and on the impressions it left with visiting prospects. It was essentially the last big show Michigan could put on for the 2012 class, and it was imperative that it go well.
The uncommitted prospects who were visiting were some of the important prospects left on the board for the coaching staff, and they included wide receiver Jehu Chesson (Chesterfield, Mo./Ladue Horton Watkins).
The coaching staff is very interested in Chesson (6-foot-3, 182 pounds), and this visit helped him gain a better understanding for what Michigan is all about.
"We got there on Friday and got a chance to meet with Coach (Brady) Hoke, and Coach (Jeff) Hecklinski," he said. "We talked to them about how they treat their players, and we watched practice and then got to see an academic meeting. That night I also hung out with some of the redshirt freshmen."
Since he was on an official visit, the three-star prospect got the whole experience. This visit was a crucial part of Chesson's recruitment because he had been recruited by the previous staff at Michigan as well. He needed to see what the current coaches were like and how the current players felt about them.
"Jeremy Gallon was my host, which was good because he was a highly recruited guy, and he told me about his recruiting process," he said. "He told me why he chose Michigan, and the difference between Rich Rodriguez and Coach Hoke. I asked him why Hoke was so successful with the same players."
Gallon explained to Chesson that there is a different feel among the program now, and that the players feel like they aren't playing to save their coach's job anymore. The conversation with Gallon answered most of the questions he had about the family atmosphere and what Hoke is like behind the scenes.
The current players weren't the only people he got along with, though. Some of the visiting recruits befriended the wide receiver, and they have talked since the visit.
"Amara Darboh (West Des Moines, Iowa/Dowling) was there, and we hung out," he said. "I talked to him today actually. He asked me how the visit went and how I felt about it, and I told him I felt good."
Chesson also got a chance to ask defensive tackle commit Ondre Pipkins (Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill) why he made his decision for Michigan, which gave him a different perspective.
The atmosphere was intense, and it gave Chesson a look at what type of pressure he would have to deal with on that stage. With all factors included, and how well the game went for Michigan, this trip gave the Wolverines a boost in his eyes.
"Yeah, it helped Michigan. My top three right now are Michigan, Iowa and Northwestern," he said. "The hospitality they showed us was great. I expected it, but how they planned the visit was really good."
With his top three schools he will now start to wind down the process, but still has one more visit to take.
"I have visited Northwestern already, and I'm visiting Iowa on Dec. 16. I just don't want to make a decision with too much emotion. I want to make it for the right reasons."
Once he takes that last visit to Iowa he plans on sitting down with a pen and paper and comparing each school. He will have his decision by Christmas.
It has been said a lot but not exaggerated how big this past weekend was for Michigan recruiting. The game was a success on the field and on the impressions it left with visiting prospects.