Michigan recruit Shawn Conway didn't think twice about accepting scholarship
Shawn Conway committed to Michigan two minutes after the Wolverines offered him a scholarship. It only took him that long because Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez was still explaining everything the offer entailed.
“It just felt so surreal,” Conway said of his February commitment. “The college that I’ve always wanted to come to, they just offered me. I just took it. I didn’t have to think about it at all.”
In the two months since he put an early end to his recruitment, Conway has been a fixture in and around the Michigan program.
He took in five or six spring practices and Michigan’s spring game, attended the BBQ at the Big House recruiting event last month, and is even helping with the recruitment of Michigan target Valdez Showers, Conway’s teammate on a statewide 7-on-7 team that will play for the national championship this July.
One of just a handful of outside receivers with Michigan offers, Conway first appeared on the Wolverines’ radar with a strong performance at Michigan’s 7-on-7 camp last summer.
He followed that up with a breakout junior season, catching 38 passes for 640 yards and six touchdowns despite constant double teams, and at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds has desirable size to go with a 37-inch vertical jump.
“This state’s going to see the absolute best Shawn Conway possible this year,” Birmingham Seaholm coach Chris Fahr said. “Michigan is going to get a great football player and a great person. Even though they’re really excited about what they’re getting, I don’t even think they have any idea about the season that this kid is going to have.”
Fahr said Conway, who also intercepted two passes as a defensive back last year, made a handful of lifestyle changes that should pay dividends on the field.
He changed his diet to include more protein and do away with most fast foods, and he dedicated himself to the weight room since the end of a basketball season in which he averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds per game.
“He’s probably going to play 15 to 20 pounds heavier than he did last year,” Fahr said. “He’s spent a lot more time in the weight room. He’s being a lot more diligent with his diet as well as he’s working his butt off.
“I expect him to be a 6-foot-4, 195-pound, 200-pound physical yet athletic receiver next year.”
Conway was recruited by most of the Big Ten but doesn’t have any other offers, and Fahr said the Wolverines deserve credit for identifying Conway as early as they did.
Quarterbacks coach Rod Smith was Conway’s primary recruiter, and Fahr said he was the first Michigan assistant to visit Seaholm in his 11 years at the school.
“He grew up a Michigan fan, he loved Michigan, that was his dream school,” Fahr said. “That’s not bad, your first offer is from your dream school.”
Recruiting website Rivals.com published its first "Rivals 100" list of top prospects Tuesday. None of Michigan's five verbal commitments ranks in the top 100, but the Wolverines do have several targets on the list. North Carolina linebacker Kris Frost is No. 27, Florida running back Dee Hart is No. 34, Florida defensive back Sammy Watkins is 39 and Michigan lineman Anthony Zettel is No. 58.
For the complete list, click here.
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.