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Posted on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

Ohio defensive end Tom Strobel sets aside prejudice to become a Wolverine

By Staff

Tom Strobel grew up an Ohio kid rooting against the Michigan football team.

On Friday the 6-foot-6, 250-pound defensive end made a verbal commitment to be a Wolverine, according to a northern Ohio newspaper, The News-Herald.

From reporter Bill Tilton's story on the

Mentor defensive end Tom Strobel admits to growing up as most Northeast Ohio football players do, with a negative opinion about Michigan.

If you would have asked him recently if he could ever envision himself wearing maize and blue one day and calling Ann Arbor home, Strobel would have had a difficult time keeping a straight face.

That all changed when he visited the campus and met the Wolverines new coaching staff.

Strobel confirmed Friday that he has given his verbal commitment to play football at Michigan.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound All-Ohioan chose the Wolverines over an impressive group of Division I programs who had recruited him, including Stanford, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State.

"I have been very blessed with the opportunity to visit and meet with many elite colleges, but I genuinely feel that Michigan will provide me with both the best academic and athletic college experience possible," Strobel said. "Like most people in Ohio, I was raised with a biased opinion against Michigan. If you would have asked me a year ago if I would go to Michigan, I would have said 'no way'. However, it occurred to me that there was no justification for my prejudice, besides the fact that it was Michigan.

Strobel, who ranks as a 4-star recruit, continues some trends in an early Michigan recruiting class that ESPN rated No. 6 in the nation earlier today.

First, he's the 12th defensive commitment and the sixth four-star recruit in a 15-player class. He's also the seventh player from the state of Ohio.

One thing unique about Strobel: That scholarship offer from Ohio State.

While Michigan has had success in head-to-head recruiting battles with rival Michigan State -- Strobel is the 10th member of Michigan's 2012 class that also had an offer from the Spartans -- they hadn't yet against Ohio State.

According to recruiting data, the Wolverines' only wins against Ohio State came with in-state products Terry Richardson (Detroit Cass Tech) and James Ross (Orchard Lake St. Mary's). None of the six previous Ohio prep players to choose Michigan had offers from their home-state Buckeyes.

Verbal commitments are non binding. National signing day is Feb. 1, 2012.


Ron Granger

Sat, Jun 11, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

Verbal commitments are well and good. But what I want to know is when we get to to brand him as a Wolverine!


Sat, Jun 11, 2011 : 8:26 a.m.

I grew up living near Ann Arbor, and it would be impossible for me to fantasy dream of being a college athlete at any other school than MICHIGAN. Of course, I am NOT an athlete, but it's great to dream the impossible dream. Tom Strobel grew up believing in Scarlet and Grey. He was given years of OHIO college football propaganda to chew and even swallow. How he ever found the right road to walk down is anybodies guess. How grateful I am that he will soon be playing for the Maize and Blue. Tom will get an outstanding education and play for the greatest sports team on the face of planet earth. I am so proud of his extremely intelligent decision. He is such an incredible man for possessing so much wisdom. My eternal blessing goes out to Tom and his family.


Sun, Jun 12, 2011 : 12:38 a.m.

Well said obb!

1st Down

Sat, Jun 11, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

Plays low...explodes off ball...has very good agility and body control... will be a great DE here. Go Blue. Good choice to leave the corrupt state below us kid!


Sat, Jun 11, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

1st Down -- don't make him mad by insulting his home state-- just be happy he's coming to UM.