Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Marcus Ball finds family at Michigan
By Tom VanHaaren
Marcus Ball (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South) still considers himself a Wisconsin commit, but the 2013 athlete finds himself in a unique situation. Ball visited the campus of and was recently offered by Michigan, which has seemingly caught his attention.
"I committed to Wisconsin and they were there from day one, so I want to wait and see who they hire before doing anything," he said. "But I wouldn't have gone on an official visit [to Michigan] if I wasn't serious about it."
Ball, whose brother Ray Ball plays at Wisconsin, says he would like to give the Badgers the chance to hire a new coach since they have shown him loyalty as well. He realizes that, given the recruiting calendar and how close national signing day is, he won't have much time to meet the new Wisconsin coach and familiarize himself with the staff.
Despite his brother being on the roster, Marcus knows he has to do what's best for him.
"It's a dream to play football with your brother, and to even have two brothers who are good enough to play Division I football that's rare," he said. "But you have to do what's best for yourself. I saw the brotherhood that the Michigan commits had on my visit, and if I were to go there I know I would feel that bond, too."
The camaraderie was one aspect of his visit to Ann Arbor that stuck out.
"Being committed elsewhere, they really embraced me. For them to do that it was a blessing," he said. "I definitely felt the love, and not even just from a recruiting standpoint but a family standpoint as well."
This visit to Michigan has definitely helped the Wolverines in their pursuit of Ball as a strongside linebacker. He was able to speak with the coaches and get to know them as people as well as where they would see him on the field.
Because a dead period started Monday, the visit was a big deal for the Wolverines to get in front of him and make the impression they did. If Wisconsin were to hire a coach in the next few weeks, the earliest the new staff would be able to meet with Ball in person is the beginning of January.
He came away impressed with everything Michigan had to offer, from the family side, football and even academics. It's now a waiting game for him to decide on his future and see who Wisconsin brings in to lead the team.
"I already took an official to Wisconsin, so I can't use another one and they'll have to recruit me again once they hire someone," he said. "I do like Michigan, so I'm just going to wait and see what happens."