Juwan Bushell-Beatty is not a player that craves the spotlight. The mammoth offensive tackle from Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic did not whine or complain when offers didn't pour in early in the recruiting process. He just went about his business, knowing that BCS schools would take notice and they did just that.
"Massachusetts was my first offer and Florida was my second and after that thing started getting crazy," said the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Michigan commit.
Bushell-Beatty quickly picked up offers from teams like Florida State, Boston College, Rutgers, West Virginia and others. Luckily, Bushell-Beatty goes to a school that is accustomed to dealing with recruits that generate a lot of interest from colleges and that helped him deal with all of the coaches trying to get his attention.
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With the guidance of his coach, Bushell-Beatty started taking visits to schools that he was interested in.
"My first visit was to Penn State," he said. "Then I visited Boston College before I went up to Michigan and Ohio State.
"I had a good time up at Boston College," said Bushell-Beatty. "I liked the coaches, the way everything was run and my position coach. The vibe was good also but I thought everything up there was a little small for me. I wanted something bigger."
Bushell-Beatty found something bigger during a stop in Ann Arbor on his next series of visits.
"There were a lot of things at Michigan that just made it feel right," he said. "What solidified it for me was the coaching staff, the players, how I felt about the offensive line coach and head coach. My relationship with the coaches over the phone was the same as when I saw them in person.
"The academics of the school make it such a great option," Bushell-Beatty said. "Everybody has that big dream of making it to the NFL but you need to have that education to fall back on and I can get a great degree at Michigan. Another thing that I was looking for was a place that reminded me of where I'm from. Michigan was the only place that I went to that checked off everything on my list. I thought about it for a while and talked it over with my coach and we decided it was a good time to pull the trigger."
One of the things many recruits look at when trying to choose a school is the number of players at their position already on the roster. The Wolverines brought in seven offensive linemen in the 2013 recruiting class and Bushell-Beatty is one of two so far in the 2014 class. This would normally deter most prospects but not Bushell-Beatty.
"I think it's good we have a lot of good guys coming up," he said. "I had a chance to talk with Coach Funk and I know he is a good guy. He is going to steer everyone in the right direction and make us all great. Playing early was never that big of a factor for me. If I do have to sit out one or two years I won't be that upset about it because I know I'll probably play for about three years. Playing after being in a college program for a little while would be a lot different as opposed to playing right after high school. I'm going to compete to the best of my abilities and if the coaches think I am ready to play in the games, then I'm ready but if have to sit out a year or two it wouldn't bother me that much because I have more time to become a better player. By the time I do get to play I'll be able to dominate."
Getting committed players to help recruit other prospects is something a lot of coaching staffs ask their recruits to do. Obviously Jabrill Peppers, Bushell-Beatty's teammate, was a top priority for the Michigan staff so they would have loved any help they could get from Bushell-Beatty.
"I didn't really have to say much to Jabrill because we both had the same sort of feel after the visit to Ann Arbor," Bushell-Beatty explained. "I talked him a little about how great of a place it is. I got the feeling that he liked the visit just as much as I did but he was a bigger recruit than me so he had some other school that he had to look at. I just kept trying to keep him thinking about how Michigan is a great place. He understood it and I didn't really have to sell it too much. When we got back from the visit I thought that's where I wanted to go but I had to go over all my options to make sure I was making the right decision and I think that's what happened with Jabrill also.
"I haven't really been talking to anybody else," he said. "When it comes to talking to other guys and trying to get them to come to Michigan I usually let Jabrill handle that because he's a little better at selling it than I am."
Most Wolverine fans would agree that Bushell-Beatty more than a good job helping to recruit Peppers.