Karnell Hatcher, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound four-star free safety from Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Fla., took his first official visit this weekend (Sept. 14) to Michigan for the Notre Dame game.
"The people there are a big family," Hatcher said. "They welcome you with open arms and I felt like I've known them my whole life. Everybody I talked to knew who I was.
"The fan support there is also amazing and they really love their players," he said. "The stadium was packed and there were like 111,000 fans screaming and yelling. It was great. After the game they were trying to get autographs and they didn't even care if you played, as long as you're on the team."
Hatcher, ranked as the No. 13 free safety in the country by Scout.com, says his player host was redshirt freshman linebacker Brandon Herron. "We had fun hanging out and I really liked the downtown area," Hatcher said. "The weather was really nice too. We went to eat at this five-star restaurant and had some really good seafood. We had lots of seafood. It was a great time."
He says he was also impressed with how the Wolverines have responded since their disappointing start. "They really wanted to win," he said. "They focused on putting pressure on Notre Dame's freshman quarterback (Jimmy Clausen) and that seemed to really frustrate him.
"The coaches are really smart on the field, but they aren't too uptight and know how to loosen up too."
The only other recruit to visit Michigan this weekend was Wolverine commit Daryl Stonum (four-star wide receiver from Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Texas). "But there were a bunch of other guys who were just there for the game. As far as I know nobody committed or anything."
Hatcher doesn’t have any other official visits set up but he's also considering Miami, LSU, Minnesota, South Carolina, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Auburn. He has over 50 total offers and continues to deny a leader.
Although he had a great time at Michigan, he says that the team that has impressed him the most is Oklahoma. "They are blowing teams out," he said. "They have depth at every position and even have freshman playing and making plays.
"LSU is also off to a nice start," Hatcher said. "I think they are looking good to go all the way, but the SEC is a tough conference so it'll be tough. LSU is also in a really nice place and actually is a lot like Florida, so I felt at home there.
"I like Miami too and feel comfortable there," he said. "They had a tough loss last week, but they are coming around. I think it's looking good for them."
The team that has surprised Hatcher the most is Auburn. "I was really shocked they lost," Hatcher said. "I think they'll get back on their feet though. I don't really get into records. Depth is more important to me.
"I just need to do my research and see who they've got coming in," he said. "The main thing I want to know is if I'll have a chance to play early."
Atlantic High School is 1-1 and Hatcher has 15 tackles, two fumbles caused and one blocked punt.
He reports a 3.1 core GPA and a 1050 SAT.