Michigan had a huge day on the recruiting trail Monday. They picked up two four-star commitments and are in really good shape heading into the spring game on April 1st. One of the four-stars that committed to The Wolverines Monday was Notre Dame legacy recruit 2017 Groton, MA (Lawrence Academy) RB A.J. Dillon. This was a huge get for the coaching staff because Dillon was a Notre Dame legacy recruit; the grandson of former Irish All-American Tom Gatewood. The news came on the heels of Dillon’s visit to Michigan last week.
“All of the schools I have visited have a lot to offer from amazing staff, players, and to school themselves,” Dillon said. “However, after my visits, my family and I came to a conclusion that Michigan is the best place for me to continue as both a student, but also an athlete. Michigan combines academics and athletics greatly and it has an unbelievable atmosphere.”
A few weeks ago, Dillon released a list of his final five schools. Those schools were Florida State, Wisconsin, Virginia, Notre Dame and Michigan. However, the decision ultimately came down to Notre Dame and Michigan. So, he took a visit to Notre Dame on March 19th and Michigan on March 22nd before he made his commitment. Furthermore, he found out Michigan was the school for him.
“My whole family supported me and wanted me to go to whichever school gave me the best opportunities and where I felt at home. There was no bias or anybody who wanted me to go against my decision and wanted me to go to Notre Dame.”
“It did come down to Notre Dame and Michigan for me,” Dillon commented. “It was a really tough decision to be honest, but I narrowed it down and looked at every factor. After I did that it came clear that Michigan was the best place for me to develop and grow.”
During his visit, Dillon got to sit down one-on-one with Harbaugh and listen to what he was trying to build. Dillon really bought into what Harbaugh was saying and what the future holds for The Wolverines.
“Coach Harbaugh is a great coach and a even better person. The rest of the coaching staff is also like that. I committed to Michigan because I believe they have something in the works down there that is special and I want to be apart of that.”
Another factor that made Michigan the best destination for Dillon was because of the way he plays the running back position. He is a 6-foot-1, 230-pound running back that is very physical and loves to run between-the-tackles. But what makes him even more special is, he is already at a college weight and runs a forty time of 4.59.
“They see me as an every down back and I’m looking forward to being that type of back. I know they can get me to be that type of running back because they know how to develop backs and run a pro-style offense that fits me well. I probably won’t be a starter right away as a freshman, but I look forward to earning the #1 running back spot for the years to come.”
At the end of the day, the recruiting process normally starts as a sophomore in high school for most kids and it can get very tiring. All of the letters, phone calls from coaches, interviews, and everything that being a big prospect entitles can really wear down a recruit. Well, Dillon is just glad to have his recruiting process over and is looking forward to his time at Michigan.
“Only one half of my dream has came true. I still have to buy my mom a house and get to the NFL. It’s very nice to have found a great school that I look forward to spending the next three to four years of my life at.”
– Shane Kinnee (Senior Editor)