Shallman Drops for Wolverines

Shallman Drops for Wolverines

On a day when Michigan was hosting several highly regarded junior visitors, the Wolverines picked up an early commitment from one of the top in-state juniors, Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.) fullback Wyatt Shallman.

Last May, Wyatt Shallman was offered a scholarship by the University of Michigan. It was his first scholarship offer and it stunned him to have the first one come from a Big Ten school, a BCS school, and a school that he grew up watching.

Since then, Shallman has earned other offers from Cincinnati, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Syracuse, but Michigan always stuck out as the first and the right school for him. Today, Shallman made his way to Ann Arbor and made it official, committing to Brady Hoke and the Wolverines.

"A lot of things went into it," he said of his decision. "First, I want to say I'm very thankful to have had the chance to visit all these schools and be recruited by them. Thanks to all those coaches. They're all great guys, but we went down to Michigan about a week ago and I talked to Coach Jackson and we talked about things and it just felt right. Michigan has always had that underlying feeling of being right. It's always been there. It's a great college, so can't go wrong with it and I like the way they're putting things together."

The 6'3, 250-lb Shallman has played fullback, tailback and defensive line for Catholic Central. He is an offensive recruit for the Wolverines and will bring versatility to the team, but he plans on breaking the mold at one specfic spot.

"Coach wants me to play tailback and tailback is what I want to play. The reason why is, I've always loved running back. It's what I've always done since I was a little kid. There are all these people saying I'm not a running back, that I'm an H-back or a linebacker, but I beg to differ and I'm excited to go out and prove that I am a running back. It's a stereotypical position, to be a running back in college sports. People think you have to look a certain way, but I'm prepared to show people that you don't have to look a certain way or you dont have to run a 4.3. We're going to go out there, hit people and score touchdowns."

Throughout the process, Shallman had a chance to visit Michigan several times, although he says the visit that stood out the most was the night game against Notre Dame. Imagining himself in the Big House next year is something that brings a smile to his face.

"It's just ridiculous. You cannot ask for a bigger stage. That's what I want, to play in the bigger games. That's why you play football as a kid and pretend you caught a game winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. You want to play in atmospheres like that and Michigan consistently has 115,000 people in their stands even when they're playing UMass. It's a better place and a better atmosphere."

Shallman has another Michigan connection in former Wolverine strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis, who he trains with on a regular basis. While Barwis has helped him get bigger, faster, stronger, tougher, he has not helped him come to this decision.

"Mike's a great guy. He'll never tell you where to go to school, but he speaks highly of Michigan. He loved being at the school and he says it's a very good school, but we never get into the decision thing because the whole time we're in there, we're working. The only pepole who influenced me in the decision were my family and really close firends and coaches."

Shallman's parents have been with him each step of the way, from his youth football days to his first unofficial visit to now. They are fans of Michigan, and his father even camped there when Bo Schembechler was the coach, but they're simply happy their son has found a home.

"They're very happy. They would have been happy with any college. It's the right fit and they love it from being kids, but they also love the college. It's public Ivy League. You can't get better than that school wise. They love Michigan, so it's a good fit."

Last season, Shallman had to deal with a hamstring injury, but was still able to help his team reach the state title game, a loss to Detroit Cass Tech. With his commitment behind him, and the recruiting process essentially over with, he can now focus on getting over that final hump with his team this year.

"That's kind of why I'm excited too to know where I'm going to be going after a year of frantic recruiting. It's good to be done. We know what it takes to get there. Now we have to work harder to get there and win. In the offseason, I'm running and lifting every day."

This summer, Shallman says he will camp with another school, but Wolverine fans need not worry.

"I'll probably still go to the Grand Valley State camp. I've been going there since I was a kid and my dad gets to stay at the Alumni House and it's close to the beach, so it's fun to go up there. I'll probably play quarterback or something there. I played wide receiver and cornerback when I went there as a kid."

Shallman says he plans to major in education.


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