While going through the recruiting journey, most of the attention is focused on the player. However,…
Jason Forcier's Journey to Michigan: The Offer
Today we hear from Jason's mom, Suzanne, as she recalls the events that led up to her son finally receiving his offer to play football for the Wolverines.
As she tells it...
"Jason began receiving letters from colleges and universities his sophomore year at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif. It was a difficult decision but he transferred to St. Augustine (in San Diego) before the second semester of his junior year, and the letters followed. He made friends easily and studied hard. He was real happy.
"That summer Jason, Chris and I took unofficial visits to Wisconsin, Purdue, Notre Dame and Ohio State. I flew home and his dad flew out and continued the tour at Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, LSU, Tennessee, Texas, Arizona, etc. He had already visited Michigan several times for camps and games. However, there had been no contact or interest from Michigan. Jason received his first offer from Wisconsin. We actually liked the school and the area but I believe in my heart that if Jason was to attend a Big Ten school it had to be Michigan. Michigan never offered. The dream of playing for Michigan had seemingly slipped away."
Mrs. Forcier continues...
"Jason always kept a positive attitude. As time went by he received several offers and decided to schedule his first official visit at Utah, but two days before his trip another quarterback committed. So he moved on and Arizona State made an offer. He had a great official visit and was comfortable with the players and staff. This was it! The Pac-10. He committed.
"(At) the end of the football season, St. Augustine made it into the playoffs. Our first game was Clairemont. We won. Next game was Brawley (two and a half hours away) but days before the game Jason learned that Arizona State had brought in Ben Olsen, another quarterback who had been on a Mormon mission the past year, for an official visit. Arizona State had assured Jason that they would not pursue any other QB's once he committed. Why did they change their mind? Why would they risk losing him? Well, it was a wake up call. Mike called Michigan and spoke with Coach (Ron) English; told him the situation and asked if Michigan still had any interest in Jason. English told Mike 'yes', but that Jason hadn't made any contact with them so they assumed he didn't. Jason had contacted Michigan a few times over the summer but they (Michigan) stopped recruiting him. Ron told Mike he was visiting with another recruit and would call him back in 15 minutes. Mike waited - still no phone call. He waited longer and still no phone call. He called again and Coach English promised him he would call back shortly. Mike told him he had to leave for work and could not stay any longer but Jason would be home to accept his call.
"Within the hour Jason received a phone call from Coach Loeffler. He asked Jason if he was still interested in the University of Michigan. He said yes and Coach Loeffler said he would come to watch him play in his championship game. I wish I could have seen Jason's face, his expressions and excitement. That meant a flight from Ann Arbor to San Diego, a two and a half hour drive to Brawley, then back to San Diego and Ann Arbor.
"Jason immediately began to chart his course. He prepared to lead his team to victory and to prove to Coach Loeffler that he could adapt and thrive in Michigan's system."
As Mrs. Forcier describes the events...
"The day of the big game came. Jason allowed his desires to guide him rather than his fears. It was a long ride to Brawley. It was a night game. It was so quiet in the car. Staring out the window I remember thinking, what if? As we reached the football stadium the excitement began. There were so many people. As we made our way to our seats we saw Jason and the team warming up on the field and then Mike noticed a 'Yellow M' on the front of a dark blue jacket on the sidelines. It was simple but classic. The players from both teams knew a Michigan scout was in the house. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with excitement. The coach from Michigan is really here! I was screaming so much I had tears. My eyes went back and forth between Jason and the Michigan Coach watching him pace the sidelines the entire first half of the game. I couldn't sit still. Jason played like a champion. He was paving his road to happiness. Each time his team was ready, he aimed and fired, pass after pass accurately down the field. He was poised, confident and determined. Coach Loeffler was constantly on the phone and seemed real intense, yet happy and smiling.
"During half-time our family went down to meet Coach Loeffler and thank him for attending the game. There was so much noise around we couldn't hear everything he was saying. He had a huge smile on his face and told Mike and I that Jason was amazing and he had seen enough and was going to offer him a scholarship to play quarterback for the University of Michigan. We were speechless. He then left to go speak to Jason. Mike and I will remember that night forever. Jason and his team returned to the field for the second half. He looked towards Mike and I and gave us a thumbs up. The offer had been made and the journey had just begun.
"Everyone is already aware that Jason had always dreamed of playing for Michigan. His dad would always tell the boys 'Michigan Touches Your Life Everyday' and if they really thought about it, he was right. All the boys, Tate, Chris and Jason absolutely adore Michigan Football and its tradition."
Next: Mrs. Forcier recounts the events that led up to Jason finally making his dream a reality.
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