Being on Michigan's campus for the BBQ at the Big House wasn't anything new for 2014 linebacker Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) as this was already his second time visiting Ann Arbor. This trip did give him a different feeling towards Michigan and its coaches, though.
"It helped me out more with Michigan. I can say now that I have a stronger bond with the coaches," he said. "I haven't had this opportunity with [Penn State or Notre Dame] so I think this did a lot and made a big impression on me."
He wasn't the only one impressed with the visit, though, as it's always important for schools to make an impact on the parents. Ferns' mom and dad were also on the trip and both came away with high praise for the Wolverines.
Ferns says his mom doesn't say too much with the recruiting process because she knows he'll make the right decision, but she now knows that Michigan is a place she can feel comfortable sending her son.
"I think getting her on campus, that whole campus feel for her was good," he said. "It's a great place and easing her into it and knowing that she can let me go and I'll be at a great school was good."
The BBQ gives recruits and their families the opportunity to get closer to the program in many different ways. Through meeting with the coaches, their wives and the other recruits it's a personal event geared around gaining comfortability with the program. Mission accomplished with Ferns and his family.
The Fernses took the tour before the BBQ, so they were able to see the campus and some of the facilities. Once the BBQ started it gave Ferns a chance to really connect with the other recruits and current commits who were also in attendance.
"They all try to push Michigan and they told me how the decision was for them. It was great to see how down to earth they were and it's nice to know I can relate to them," he said. "Part of the whole deal is getting to see the people you're going to be with and who you'd spend your time with. That's the best part of the whole recruiting deal, and it's great for any school recruiting-wise to be able to meet everyone."
Ferns now plans on shutting down his recruitment to focus on preparing for his season. It will pick back up for him around winter time, and he said he plans on taking some visits for games during the season as well. For now he still remains undecided, although this visit did admittedly help Michigan.
"I want to get to a couple games before I say I have a leader," he said. "I'm going to stay open minded for now and focus on that later."