Champaign (Ill.) Centennial class of 2015 quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald has seen the interest from the Michigan coaching staff rise in recent months, so he reciprocated with a visit to Ann Arbor this past weekend.
"Michigan was great, I had a good weekend," Fitzgerald said. "Obviously Michigan has a huge fan base and a huge backing, so it was pretty cool walking out of the tunnel onto the field at the Big House. I had never experienced anything like that before."
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Fitzgerald has been hearing from Michigan since he was a sophomore, but the interest from the Wolverines has gotten more serious this fall.
"Coach [Curt] Mallory played at Michigan and coached in Champaign for a little bit," Fitzgerald noted. "He came by my school back in the spring just to say 'How you doing?' He then came back in mid-September to get my grades and check in. We had been contacting through Facebook for a little bit and asked me to come up to a game.
"He asked for my film back in late November and got back to me, said the offensive guys had looked at it and liked what they had seen. I talked to him a little bit before the game and after the game and he said they had narrowed their 2015 quarterback search down to four kids and I was one of the four kids. That was really good to hear."
Knowing that he was among Michigan's top targets at the quarterback position, Fitzgerald is looking closely at the Wolverines.
"That's definitely a great school academically and athletically," Fitzgerald said. "I would like to spend some time with the offensive coaches, but it would definitely be a great option. If they came in and offered I'd definitely have to think about it."
Before leaving Ann Arbor, Fitzgerald and Mallory made plans to keep in contact during the coming weeks and months.
"Coach Mallory said he wanted to try and see me every two weeks," Fitzgerald said. "I think he is going to come down to school pretty soon and I'll try to get back up later in the year."
Illinois, Akron, Harvard and Yale have already extended offers to Fitzgerald, and he expects to see more coaches through his school this winter.
"I have been hearing a little bit from Penn State lately," Fitzgerald said. "Then, Purdue and Indiana are supposed to come see me throw in the next month."
This past season Fitzgerald completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,008 yards and estimated he threw 21 touchdowns while adding seven rushing touchdowns.