Before restricting his focus to Friday's high school season opener, Detroit Catholic Central class of 2013 athlete Wyatt Shallman traveled to Ann Arbor on Saturday to see where Michigan was in their preparation for the 2011 season.
"Michigan had a scrimmage yesterday and we went down to that," Shallman said. "I have never really been on the field with Division 1 athletes at a college program and seeing them go all out. This scrimmage was full contact, so it was basically game day, and they were smacking. It's just refreshing to see people hit that hard."
Shallman has attended spring practices at schools in the past, but those were non-contact events. He was impressed with what he saw out of Michigan two weeks before they open their season against Western Michigan.
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"They looked really, really good," Shallman said. "I think the sky's the limit for this Michigan team. They work really hard, they have a great coach and they looked really good."
Shallman's Catholic Central teammate, Michigan defensive end commitment Matthew Godin, was also in Ann Arbor on Saturday, but that was the only other recruit he saw at the scrimmage. It was not a recruiting event for Michigan, and Shallman did not go down there anticipating such.
"This wasn't one of those visits where you go to a school to talk about a lot of stuff," he said. "My dad and I wanted to go up there and see what they are all about. Hoke is running a different style of offense, so we wanted to see what that was all about."
Michigan is one of two schools to already offer Shallman, with the other being Cincinnati. The junior prospect is far from considering where he wants to attend college, but he does plan to check out some college games this fall when his schedule allows.
"I'll definitely see Michigan because they are so close and are a great program," he said. "I think we are going to catch a Notre Dame game and a [Michigan] State game probably.
"I'm going to talk to a couple of [college coaches] this week and see what is going on. The last couple months I haven't been able to get calls or get letters from coaches because they can't contact you until Sept. 1. I'm kind of excited to see what that's like come Sept. 1."
Shallman reserves his greatest excitement, however, for his upcoming junior season. Detroit Catholic Central will open up at Dearborn Fordson this coming Friday. The versatile Shallman will play an H-back role on offense and end on defense this fall for the Shamrocks.
Shallman is now up to 6-3 and 255 pounds after an off-season in the weight room. He feels in great shape outside of the hamstring injury and is ready to build off an impressive sophomore season. He joins fellow Division 1 prospects like Godin and tight end Matt Doneth in Catholic Central's starting lineup this fall.
"There are no 'stars' or people who think they are above anyone else," Shallman said. "We're all equal, all out there on the same field and we're all battling together. You've got to be able to trust each other and know egos won't get in the way.
"The D-1 scholarships I don't really look at right now. College is far away for me. Right now I am focused on my team and helping my team get to where we need to be. It doesn't add any more pressure on me. Everyone on our football team, from third-stringers to starters, are feeling the same pressure I am."