With an offer list comprised of programs from one coast to the other, Columbus DeSales defensive end Chris Rock planned to give as many of his suitors look as possible. Unfortunately for the majority of the schools on his list, it became more and more obvious that one of his suitors consistently stood out from the rest. Soon he began wondering to himself, “Why wait to make a decision?” Today the wait ended.
“When I think about it and just think about what Michigan has to offer, really they were the only school that offered me that had the total package,” Rock explained. “It has the academic side, the athletic side, and the biggest stadium in the country. I liked the campus a lot when I visited there. I liked the teammates. I know Patrick Omameh. He went to my high school and he is a good kid. If he likes it there I knew I would like it there too. It was really everything.”
“The West Coast trip I was going to go on was just going to be sort of an experiment,” he continued. “I know Oregon is a great football school, but really academically they don’t compare to Michigan. I know Stanford is a great academic school, but their football program hasn’t always been as good as Michigan’s. Really, just thinking about it, I know I’m not going to like any of these schools better than Michigan. Why not just pull the trigger, enjoy my senior season, and keep getting to know Michigan from the inside out.”
Rock ultimately chose Michigan over offers from Oregon, Stanford, Nebraska, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Pitt, and a host of others. The nail in the coffin for those programs proved to be the Buckeye State star’s visit to Ann Arbor last weekend for the “BBQ at the Big House.”
“I actually didn’t think about committing there until after that,” Rock admitted. “I liked that trip a lot. It was similar to trips I made up there before, but just the love the coaches showed me over and over again… I liked them a lot. They were always talking to me and always making sure I was having fun. Brennen Beyer, I talked to him, and his dad talked to my dad. They had nothing but good things about Michigan. He was real friendly and stuff. That’s the kind of people that like Michigan. We got to see a little bit more of campus and I liked campus a lot too. Plus we got to learn about the academics at the academic center. (The BBQ visit) just kind of sealed the deal.”
Those words were likely music to Rich Rodriguez ears after a week that began with him issuing a response to NCAA refuting a media report that falsely alleged he endangered his players by forcing them to participate in excessive practice and training regimens.
“He said I made his weekend,” Rock stated. “He just laughed. I guess he had already heard about it because it slipped out because I told Coach Tall first because I couldn’t get a hold of Coach Rod. I just got off the phone with him and I was telling him I want to come back up there and hang out more with the players. I definitely want to get up during the summer and start hanging out with the players, getting more familiar with the program than I already am, and keep feeling more comfortable.”
With his commitment now out of the way, Rock’s focus will shift toward preparing for his final high school campaign.
“We’re starting conditioning and lifting,” he reported. “We just stopped our school lifting because we get a week break. After next week we’re starting conditioning and lifting up again four times a week. Two days ago me and a couple of my buddies on the football team started running just to kind of get a head start in the conditioning so we can bring everyone else along. Being leaders, when they’re all tired we’re going to be more in shape and keep pushing them. Really that’s all we’re doing… lifting running, and getting ready for the season.”
Such leadership would certainly come in handy when trying to lure other prospects into the recruiting class. When asked if that’s something he planned to do, Rock didn’t hesitate.
“Yeah, definitely,” he exclaimed! “When I get some numbers I’ll have to do some persuading.”