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Friday, September 13, 2013
Michigan visit impresses ESPN 300 duo

By Brad Bournival

Michigan certainly didn’t hurt itself in its recruitment of ESPN 300 standouts Marshon Lattimore (Cleveland/Glenville) and teammate Erick Smith.

The two headed up to Ann Arbor, Mich., last weekend on an unofficial visit for the Notre Dame game and were impressed.

They were so impressed, in fact, that they haven’t ruled out possibly taking an official visit sometime down the line.

“It was good to finally get there for a game, and we got to be there for the game with the record for attendance, which was cool,” Smith said. “It was good being there, especially for the Notre Dame game. The atmosphere was amazing, and I watched their defense pretty closely.

“I always watch a team and I imagine myself playing in their defense, and I could see myself playing corner or safety there. They have a nice class coming in with me, if I would choose to go there. Coach [Greg] Mattison has that personality where he’s not really that serious off the field, but at the same time he’s intense on the field. I’m thinking about taking an official visit to Michigan, but I’m not sure about that yet.”

Lattimore, who is the No. 51 player in the nation and fifth-best athlete, echoed Smith’s words.

The senior standout headed up to Barbecue at the Big House over the summer and said he really felt comfortable around the coaches. While the two didn’t talk to any coaches this time, they definitely felt the love from the maize and blue.

“It was nice breaking the record and it was good they got the win,” Lattimore said. “I don’t have my five [official visits] up there, but they might be one.

“When we went to the barbecue over the summer, they were real laid back and down to earth. That’s what I like in a coaching staff.”

The key in all of this for the two is Wolverines outside linebackers coach Roy Manning, who is the coach responsible for recruiting them.

The 6-foot, 178-pound Lattimore, who would like to play cornerback at the next level, has been impressed with what Manning has had to say.

The same can be said for the 6-1, 185-pound Smith, who is ranked 231st in the ESPN 300 and No. 14 at safety.

“I talk with Coach Manning the most at Michigan, and we spoke a week ago. He’s my guy,” Smith said. “He recruited me when he was at Cincinnati, and then at Northern Illinois, and now for Michigan. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him when I was up there, but that’s my guy, though.”

As for official visits, both have the LSU at Alabama game on Nov. 9 set up already. Lattimore mentioned Ohio State, Oregon and USC as other possible destinations, while Smith said he might see Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Both reiterated that nothing is set in stone, however.

As for the opportunity to play together at the next level, that’s up in the air.

“We always talk about playing college football together,” Smith said. “I would say the chance we play at the same school would be 50 percent.”