- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Mike McCray II is from the Buckeye State. His teammate is committed to Ohio State. And his father played the same position as he for the Buckeyes in the 1980s. So most would assume McCray’s dreams about his future on the field have him at Ohio State.
Except it was a dream about playing for the Buckeyes’ biggest rival that gave him the confirmation he needed to make his college decision.
“I woke up one day and in my heart God was telling me Michigan is the place I need to be,” McCray said Monday night. “I felt like it was the right time and the right decision.”
McCray, an outside linebacker for Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, Ohio), committed to the Wolverines on Monday morning and visited his future team on Tuesday. It is his second time in Ann Arbor after visiting back in September for the Wolverines’ night game against Notre Dame.
“It’s like a big family there,” McCray said. “The atmosphere is great and I can see myself playing there. … Of the places I’ve been to, I feel like Michigan is the best place for me.”
The string of commitments Michigan has racked up over the last few weeks has caught McCray’s attention. McCray’s friends Taco Charlton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) and Jaron Dukes (Columbus, Ohio/Marion Franklin) both committed to the Wolverines recently.
“He saw all the guys they got coming in and how special Michigan is going to be,” Trotwood-Madison coach Mo Douglass said.
McCray’s father, Mike, played for the Buckeyes, but McCray was not offered by Ohio State. Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee were McCray’s other finalists.
McCray’s father always told McCray II to be his own person and that he doesn’t need to follow in his own footsteps. Just like always, McCray said he had his dad’s support in his decision to commit to Michigan.
“He’s real happy for me,” McCray said. “He said to keep working and he’ll be in the stands rooting.
“He’s already talking about buying a flag that’s half Ohio State and half Michigan. It’s kind of funny.”
If the Buckeyes did come to offer McCray down the line, would he make the switch?
“I know I will stay at Michigan,” he said. “I wouldn’t change my mind.”