|Ohio junior lineman has Michigan in his top two|
|Written by Matt Pargoff|
While Michigan’s 2013 recruiting efforts along the offensive line are well in the books, the effort to recruit players to the position for the 2014 class is just beginning. With a long history of plundering Ohio for talent, the Wolverines are already in good standing for one of the state’s top rising junior offensive linemen.
Nathaniel Devers of Massillon Washington has visited several schools during the summer and has firmly established two colleges as his early leaders.
“My top schools are Michigan and Northwestern - I don’t really know who’s after that,” he explained. “I really like the coaching staffs at those two schools and that’s really what’s going to determine my decision. I want to be around somebody that I like playing for over the next five years of my life. I want to be happy and the education is important too. Michigan is a great school and Northwestern is a great school.”
While attending the Michigan summer camp last month, Devers dislocated his finger during the morning session, but reset it himself to go on participating in the afternoon. Still wearing the splint from that experience, it was the only negative aspect he took away from his trip to Ann Arbor.
“It was good camp,” he noted. “I got to visit the school and I really like Coach [Darrell] Funk and Coach [Greg] Mattison. And I really like Coach [Brady] Hoke. He’s a great guy. I got to meet with him and talk to him for like 35 minutes.
“He didn’t really talk to me about my recruitment. We just talked about football. He asked me how my family was and talked to me about everything like that. I really liked him. I was originally supposed to visit at 11a.m., but Coach Mattison called my coach and told him to move it to 9a.m., because Coach Hoke wanted to meet me personally.”
Also attending summer camps at Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State and Northwestern, it was the Wildcats that made the strongest impression on Devers from that group.
“After the Northwestern camp I went on a visit and got to meet Pat Fitzgerald,” he stated. “I talked to Coach [Adam] Cushing the whole time – the line coach – I really like him. I really like Coach Fitzgerald. They’re both great guys.
“The one thing that I really liked at Northwestern was that I asked Coach Cushing, ‘what would happen if I committed to you and then in my junior or senior season I blew out my knee.’ He said they would still honor that scholarship. They would still give me the full scholarship even if I was unable to play. I thought that was great. That’s a $50,000 a year education from Northwestern.”
Playing at Ravenna Southeast as a sophomore, the 6-3, 265 pound Devers transferred during the off-season to perennial powerhouse Massillon Washington, which he expects to play a major factor in his recruitment.
“I have an offer from Toledo right now,” he noted. “All the schools have pretty much told me the same thing. Michigan, Northwestern, West Virginia – they all basically said the same thing. Last year I played for a D-III school and the competition wasn’t too good, so they want to see me against better competition. They’ve said they want to see the first three games and then if they like it, they’ll offer.”
Devers noted that he plans to see who offers during his junior season and through the winter months, then make his college selection in the spring of 2013.