Runyan Jr. discusses pledge to Michigan
Written by Matt Pargoff   

For the second year in a row, 2015 offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr. of Philadelphia (Penn.) St. Joseph's spent a full week in Ann Arbor, participating in the Michigan summer camp. This year, that trip came with an added surprise, when he received a scholarship offer from the Maize and Blue. A week after learning the positive news, the 6-4, 250 pounder acted on the opportunity by committing to the Wolverines.

“I was just waiting to get home to talk to my family,” said Runyan Jr. “They were happy for me and they knew I couldn’t go wrong with committing to Michigan. And they knew it was eventually up to me.

“It was really relieving, because I’ve been looking forward to it my whole life and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do it … I’ve just grown to love Michigan over the years. After watching Michigan football for basically my whole life, then going there and getting to look at the Big House, and go on the field, it got me really excited and it was something I wanted to be a part of.”

A Michigan legacy, the Wolverines’ latest commit is the son of Jon Runyan Sr., who was an All-American for the Maize and Blue during the 1995 season.

“I think it’s a pretty big deal for him,” noted the son. “He’s happy for me. But he’d be happy for me if I went anywhere pretty much. But I’m happy for myself too that I finally got to do something that’s been a lifelong dream.”

Runyan Jr. worked with the top group at the summer camp, and by Tuesday’s action, he had earned a scholarship offer from the Wolverines. The process of learning that news was something that will hold a strong spot as a cherished memory.

“Coach [Darrell] Funk took us up to Schembechler Hall,” he noted. “I talked to him for like 10 minutes, then went back to the waiting room. He called me back and said Coach [Brady] Hoke wanted to talk to me. I went to Coach Hoke’s office and he said that they were going to offer me. It came as a complete shock. I was completely taken off guard. I didn’t know it was going to happen.”

The relationship that Runyan Jr. established with Funk during the camp was a major positive, but his familiarity with the school was already pushing the young linemen the direction of Ann Arbor. Attending the Ohio State camp as part of a group from his school just before heading to Michigan, he was also able to make comparisons to his future rival.

“Coach Funk’s really a good guy and I can’t wait to get out there and play for him,” he explained. “He’s really a great guy and the camp was awesome. I went to Ohio State’s camp and it wasn’t anything compared to Michigan’s camp.”

Having just completed his sophomore year of high school, the young offensive lineman has a little over 19 months to wait before he will be able to sign with Michigan. However, he feels there is an advantage to making such and early choice, allowing him to focus more energy on his high school career.

“We had a really good season last year on my high school team and I really want us to do good this year,” noted Runyan. “Michigan was my dream school, so if I got the offer, I was going to commit. I think now that I’ve committed, it’s going to help me focus a lot more on high school and what we need to achieve to win the championship.”

See video below of Runyan Jr. in action from his sophomore year of play.

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