Thursday, February 7, 2013
New QB commit eager to get started
By Tom VanHaaren
Michigan's search for a quarterback in the 2014 class ended on Wednesday with the commitment of Wilton Speight (Richmond, Va./Collegiate School). It was a long journey for both Michigan and Speight to get to this point as the 6-foot-5, 220-pound signal-caller is the only quarterback Michigan offered in his class.
Going through the process was one thing, but being able to end it and have the opportunity to be a quarterback at Michigan was too much to pass up.
WolverineNation caught up to Speight to discuss how his commitment came about and what's next for him. Here's how he told us it all went down.
"Leading up to [the commitment] I kind of new how it would feel, but it didn't really hit me until I hung up the phone. It was incredible," he said. "I looked back at my parents and they came over and gave me a hug. I looked at my coach and told him we made it."
Speight and his coach had been on the recruiting trail for a long time, a process that he described as tough and at times exhausting. His journey to Michigan really picked up in recent weeks when wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski made the trip out to Virginia to see Speight throw in person. The new Michigan commit knew shortly after that he would be the guy the Wolverines were after.
"I knew they were going to discuss the quarterbacks on Monday and then tell us on Wednesday," he said. "I called Coach [Jerry] Montgomery on Monday night and he told me that it was definitely going to come to me first and if I did commit that they would not search for another quarterback."
That conversation was a help for both sides as it gave Speight time to discuss his options with his family and make sure he didn't make a decision off impulse. During those two days he and his family and coach talked about the education he would receive at Michigan, the coaching staff and the football history associated with the program.
Since Speight had been picking up interest from other programs and Michigan has a no-visit policy, Speight wanted to know this was the right decision before acting on it. He says it's a relief to be able to end his recruitment and focus on Michigan going forward, despite the attention he is likely to garner from other programs now that he has made his commitment.
"I got to talk to Coach [Al] Borges for a good while and he said that he's confident that I won't go look anywhere else," he said. "But now that Michigan offered other programs will be chomping at the bit to get me to look somewhere else and that he was confident that wouldn't happen."
Besides, Speight has bigger plans now that he has made his decision. The first order of business was to get in touch with fellow 2014 commit Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) to devise a plan on what other prospects to recruit.
"We already discussed how we're going to put this team of 16 together," he said. "[Ferns] said he was going to tackle the defensive side as much as possible. I'll be on the look out for any running backs or offensive linemen and we will get this thing going."
Speight says he wants to catch his breath first, but will ask the coaches what the main targets will be in 2014 so he can start to recruit for his new team. He believes that he will be a big help to Michigan's recruiting efforts in the South, as he is from Virginia.
A lot of the prospects in his area are recruited by the same schools and most of the top prospects have a lot in common. Speight believes that once some of the other southern prospects see that he is committed to Michigan that will get the ball rolling to pique their interest as well.
In fact, Speight already has a big target in his sights.
"I know Da'Shawn Hand [Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge] is a huge target," he said. "A couple people told me that if we get that guy on board we will be unstoppable, so I'll get started on him as soon as I can."