It’s been seven years since the SEC lost out on landing the nation’s No. 1 overall player (2009 — Matt Barkley, USC), until now.
Rashan Gary, a five-star defensive tackle from Paramus (N.J.) Catholic High School, committed to Michigan over Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Clemson and USC during a live announcement on ESPN2.
His mother, Jennifer Coney, has been a long-time supporter of Michigan’s success in the classroom, which was one of the main reasons why he decided to become a Wolverine.
“They (Michigan) have the Ross School of Business. The way their academic is structured I just feel that the weight of the degree is better,” Coney told SEC Country in November. “That’s my feeling. I may be wrong. That’s just how I feel. I feel Michigan’s academic plan, plan for success, not even for football players but as for student body in general is just important.”
Alabama and Auburn were making a late run at Gary. He caught up with SEC Country last week and told us why he would have signed with each program.
On Alabama: “Nick Saban is a great coach. He has a great background,” Gary said. “The defensive line coach, Bo Davis, he puts a lot of defensive linemen into the NFL. He could get me where I need to go very fast. It’s a big family atmosphere around there. Alabama also has Minkah Fitzpatrick there, and that’s one of my boys from back in New Jersey. He talks to me about a lot of things. He keeps it real with me. Those would be the key reasons why I would sign with Alabama.”
On Auburn: (Tigers defensive line coach Rodney) Garner. That’s a guy throughout all of the coaching changes remained with the team. He has always kept it real with me. My mom also really likes him.”
Gary is expected to make an immediate impact for Jim Harbaugh and Michigan.