Strobel on Michigan: "It Felt Right"

Tom Strobel

Committing to Michigan didn't seem to be the likeliest of outcomes when Mentor, OH DE Tom Strobel embarked upon his recruiting journey last winter. But the combination of intense courtship by the new staff in Ann Arbor, two impressive visits, and the type of academic prestige that this 3.90 student has clamored for, the lifelong Buckeye fan decided to shed that allegiance and become a Wolverine.

Tom Strobel Profile

"More and more I started to think about it, and more and more I wanted to go (to Michigan), Strobel explained to GoBlueWolverine.  "I just came to the conclusion and told my coach that this is the place that I wanted to go to." 

"Basically for me the academics outweighed everything.  The business school itself…if I can get into it (laughing)… is just such a great school.  It's close to home and I felt comfortable there.  It felt right."

Strobel had been angling toward a summer decision for quite some time, but his desire to get an up close and personal feel for Stanford and its strong academics were standing in the way.  That's of course until he had a recent epiphany.

"Ultimately it was going to be too much money," he said regarding a visit.  "I couldn't go by myself because I couldn't buy a hotel room (laughter).  So it was just going to be too much money.  I know it's a great school.  Every school that was recruiting me I have so much respect for.  I really appreciate them doing everything they've done.  It just came down to what I thought was going to be right for me."

If the expense of an unofficial visit was going to be prohibitive, it would have been even bigger problem when it came time for his family to come out and watch him play.  The support of his family would have been constant regardless of where he went, but that he can count on seeing them in the stands with regularity was another feather in the Wolverines' cap.

"Basically what my dad said (about the decision to commit to Michigan) was, ‘You know I love you, I'm very proud of you, and I'm looking forward to a good ride.'  Those three words meant the most to me."

The reaction, while subdued, was really moving for the talented youngster.  The reaction of the Michigan coaching staff was also impactful… but it wasn't as restrained as dad's.

"Oh my gosh," Strobel exclaimed!  "You wouldn't have believed (their reaction).  They were going crazy!  Coach Hoke yelled out, ‘Tom Strobel committed!'  Then the phone made my ear hurt because everyone was like, ‘YEAAAAAH! ‘Everyone was loud and cheering.  I was just like, ‘Whoa!' (laughter).  It just made me more excited to go there."

With over a year still remaining between now and when he officially arrives on campus, one thing Strobel isn't looking forward to is dealing with spurned Buckeye fans… some of whom are in his own family.  That said, he is ready for them.

"I've thought about it, and ultimately it's my decision, not theirs," Strobel said laughingly.  "I like Ohio State…it's a great school, great football team, great program, great coaching staff, but there are just different perks that Michigan has.  It's just where I want to be and no one can do anything about it! (laughter).  My whole family is Buckeye fans.  I don't know what I'm going to do come Christmas time.  They're going to wear their Buckeye stuff, and I'm going to come wearing Michigan."

If he can help, a few other prospects will be wearing Michigan also.

"I'm not sure how many more spots they've got left (in the recruiting class), but maybe this will trigger something."

Trigger something with say, five-star Ohio State commit, Kyle Kalis?

"It's really his decision not mine," Strobel said matter-of-factly.  "We're going to talk about it, obviously, because we're friends.  But it's his decision."


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