July 31, 2012

Barbecue ignites Logan Tuley-Tillman's excitement for Michigan

If any of Michigan's 2013 commitments could be accused of lacking enthusiasm for the Wolverines, it certainly wouldn't be Peoria (Ill.) Manual offensive lineman Logan Tuley-Tillman. He earned a bit of infamy for burning an Ohio State recruiting letter (and posting the picture online) and has been very candid when speaking of his love for the program.

With that in mind, it's even more impressive how much he enjoyed the Barbecue at the Big House recruiting event on Sunday. It built even more pride for Michigan, and made him anxious to head to Ann Arbor for good.

"It was a lot of fun, he explained. "It was something new that I'd never been to. It was nice for all the commits to be together, just talking.

"It was an amazing time, and if I wasn't [already] committed I would have had to do it right then and there," he added with a laugh.

The best part for the 6-7, 307-pounder was the chance to continue building relationships with his future teammates. He rode to the event with Ottawa (Ill.) Marquette long-snapper Scott Sypniewski, and spent a lot of his time talking with another Land of Lincoln commit, Wheaton St. Francis lineman Kyle Bosch. It didn't matter which specific player - or which of their guests - he was talking to, because everyone in the program now feels like a family member.

"At Michigan, it's different from another place that I've experienced," he said. "Anybody who's there - whether it's another recruit's grandpa or a sister, everybody has a comfort factor where you can just talk to them like you've known them forever."

That comfort allowed Tuley-Tillman to spend some time working on some uncommitted recruits, as well. Though he's not one to pressure, he made it clear that he'd like some of the best recruits who were in attendance to join the Maize and Blue.

That included a long discussion with Michael Ferns Jr., whose son, Michael Ferns III, is a 2014 linebacker high on the Wolverines.

"I actually talked a long time with Michael Ferns' dad," Tuley-Tillman said. "He's a really great guy, and the Michigan coaches gave him a chance to see what it's about in Ann Arbor. I didn't have any recruiting pitches for him, but we were just talking for a while. I was just talking about Michigan, and I didn't need to pitch him - it recruits itself. The differences from a lot of places make it special."

Another prospect Tuley-Tillman had a chance to make an impact on was 2013 Richmond (Va.) Hermitage running back Derrick Green. The size of the offensive linemen that Michigan has committed in the class can't be missed, with the four players in attendance averagingover 6-5 and 300 pounds. That's a major benefit to a running back, and the nation's top player at the position took note.

"When he first walked in, I was standing there. Derrick was like, 'man you're a real big dude,'" Tuley-Tillman laughed. "I said, 'wait until you see the rest of us. There's three more of me upstairs.'"

That made an impact on Green, as did the rest of the Michigan visit. At the end of the day, Tuley-Tillman wouldn't be surprised to see the five-star don a winged helmet.

"I don't want to speak for him, but it was a great event and I don't think he could resist," the offensive lineman predicted. "If it's not going to be Michigan, we're definitely leading for him. It was an amazing time. We went outside and there was this big thing playing on the video boards about the tradition of Michigan football. Afterwards he just turned to me and smiled."

Should Green join Warren (Ohio) Howland running back Deveon Smith and Novi (Mich.) Detroit Catholic Central athlete Wyatt Shallman in the Wolverines' backfield, the quality of options in Ann Arbor would be one of the country's most impressive.

With the combined quality of the 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes, it's easy to see why Tuley-Tillman is so anxious for January to come. At that time, he'll officially enroll in Ann Arbor and become a member of the Michigan football family. Then, the hard work toward a national championship for the Wolverines can begin in earnest.

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