Last recruiting year the Michigan Wolverines struggled a bit when it came to landing top defensive back targets. Players like Justin King, Avery Atkins and Nic Harris took long looks at Michigan, but opted to play elsewhere. Fast forward to the 2006 class and Michigan is off to a strong start with a commitment from Columbus (Ind.) East defensive back Steve Brown this afternoon.
"I've always wanted to go to Michigan," the 6-foot-0, 197-pounder told us on Saturday. "It's close to home and offers me everything I want. I've been a Michigan fan for awhile and the coaches really made me feel welcome."
Brown didn't choose Michigan without a fight from Notre Dame.
"It went back and forth there for awhile," he said. "I liked each of them and didn't really know for sure I was going to Michigan. The coaches at Notre Dame are great and really made me think about things. In the end though it came down to comfort level and Ann Arbor. There's a lot more to do in and around Michigan than at Notre Dame and that was a factor."
Brown's recruiting coach was Andy Moeller but an assist goes to Ron English, the defensive backs coach.
"Coach English and I see things the same way and he's a coach I think I can learn and develop with," he said. "It's important to have that bond with your position coach and I think we have that."
Brown will play safety at Michigan.
"Most schools wanted me at safety, but some said cornerback," he said. "I prefer safety because I like being in the middle of the action. I also like to hit."
Brown is ranked as the No. 65 player in the country and the No. 2 player in Indiana. His NIKE Camp performance in Ann Arbor really pushed him into the Rivals100.
"I felt I had a good camp," he said. "I felt good there."
Brown is the sixth commitment for the Wolverines so far for 2006 and the fourth ranked four stars or higher.