McDonough, Ga Union Grove High School safety Avery Walls is on Michigan's campus today.
Avery Walls Talks Michigan
Avery Walls: "It was amazing! It was hard to get my mom to come up for the visit though (laughter). I was surprised that she even lasted through some of the highlight videos that they were showing."
Sam Webb: (Laughter) Because of the Ohio State thing, right? So Ohio State grad was having a bit of a hard feeling Michigan, eh?
Avery Walls: "Naw. She wasn't turning on them anything. She just remains loyal to her team. It was all just fun and games."
Sam Webb: So take me through the visit from start to finish. What did they have you do?
Avery Walls: "I went to Schembechler Hall first and was greeted by all the coaches. I saw Coach (Dan) Hott first and then I saw Coach Rodriguez second. I was greeted by the whole offensive and defensive staff while I was there. It felt pretty good. It felt pretty much like a homecoming thing when I walked in the door."
Sam Webb: Sounds like they were definitely ready for you. What did you think of the facilities?
Avery Walls: "They were definitely top notch. They had two indoor practice fields. I thought you just needed one, I do not even know why they had two of them (laughter). They had a new one that was connected to their weight room and everything. So that was pretty good. You could do a workout and then go straight to the field. That was a really good thing. It was a big field too. I think it was 100 yard regular field, but they had a lot of room on the side of it also for hurdles and stuff like that. So that was definitely a good thing. I got a tour of the whole Schembechler Hall with all the history stuff, all the team meeting rooms, the coaching staff, the training room, the equipment manager. Then I got to meet the strength and conditioning coach. He was crazy (laughter)."
Sam Webb: You know, I've heard a lot of people say that about Barwis.
Avery Walls: "Barwis was probably the best part of the visit right there."
Sam Webb: What was it that stood out about that?
Avery Walls: "It was like I was talking to a doctor, but a strength coach at the same time. He was using all these words that I've never heard of and everything. My brother, he's in kinesiology so he would understand all the terminology and everything. He knew so much about the medicine, the body and everything. He used all his knowledge to make you a better athlete. When I was there, he had a lot of people (working out). A good thing about Michigan they had a lot of people coming back… a lot of their alumni coming back and when I was there in the weight room. I saw Larry Foote. One thing that I know about Michigan is that they were pretty much like a family. Coach Rod greeted my mom with affection, did not give her a handshake, gave her a hug when she first came by. I think it was a really great visit."
Sam Webb: You got a chance, obviously this is your first time really getting a chance to sit down and talk to the coaches about what their plan for you would be. Whether it was Coach Rodriguez or the defensive coaches, where did they see or how did they envision you into fitting in their defense, did they talk to you at all about that?
Avery Walls: "No we did not. I'm going back (Thursday)."
Sam Webb: Oh really. Okay.
Avery Walls: "Yeah we saved all that for last. I already talked to Coach Rodriguez and everything. I'm going to go back tomorrow (Thursday) and talk to the position coach."
Sam Webb: You've already touched briefly upon your one-on-one time with Rodriguez? Getting back to that, what were your impressions of what kind of guy he is… what kind of coach he is
Avery Walls: "I think he is an excellent coach. We discussed what the program was going through with a new AD (athletic director) coming to the school. Some of the stuff about him staying and stuff like that. It came out really positive. He really informed us on things that are going on, because the news perception is different than what is actually going on. So we got everything cleared up about the program and the NCAA violations and stuff like, so that was really good. He said that he was going to keep my scholarship open. Because they have limited spots but they said I was one of their top people, so they said that they are going to keep my spot open for me and so that is definitely a good thing. They said I'm in no rush and they said whenever I want to make a decision they'll follow up."
Sam Webb: What about the academic side? Did you get a chance to get an academic tour or the athletic academic center?
Avery Walls: "Yes. That was really good. It was three story academic center. All the tools that you need. They had a lot of players, not only football players but basketball players, volleyball players, just all sports. They had it pretty integrated, which I thought was pretty good, so I'm not around the same people the entire time. That was really good. It connects me socially with other people. They had two people there that mainly dealt with all the players and they were marvelous. They showed me a video; they showed me a mission video about the school."
Sam Webb: You said that you're going back to Michigan tomorrow, after that what is your visit plan look like? What other schools are you going to try and make it to this summer?
Avery Walls: "I have no idea. I have a lot of a lot of school work."
Sam Webb: When is school out for you?
Avery Walls: "School is out but since I'm graduating early, I'm doing extra class work."
Sam Webb: With that timeline, graduating early, it is imperative that you make more visits this summer or would you be content with making more in the fall?
Avery Walls: "I would probably like to make them now, because I would just ease a lot of stress off my parents, not having to make all these visits during the season."
Sam Webb: So do you think by the time the season starts that you'll have it cut down to five or do you plan on cutting it down more than that?
Avery Walls: "I have no idea what I'll cut it down to. I'll probably know by the end of the summer."
Sam Webb: Do you think that you're going to take all five official visits?
Avery Walls: "I have no idea."
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