Fairfield High School tight end Erick All Jr. surprised some people when he made his college commitment over the weekend.
Originally anticipating he would commit during his upcoming senior season, All realized his heart was set on playing for the University of Michigan after visiting Ann Arbor on Saturday.
He let it stew overnight and into the next day, but his mind was made up. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound three-star recruit verbally committed to Michigan on Sunday.
“I told everyone I wanted to commit at the end of the season or midseason, but I fell in love with Michigan and I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to go there,” said All, a first-team All-Greater Miami Conference pick who had 336 yards and three touchdowns on 28 catches last fall. “I just liked everything about it. I like how everyone was super nice. I loved all the coaches, the players and the facilities. Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, I just love how he uses tight ends, how they are in on every play. I love what the tight end coach is doing and the type of offense they run. The academic system, it was everything I would want.”
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All had narrowed his choices down to Michigan, Florida State, Notre Dame, Iowa and Wisconsin but wasn’t going to be able to visit the other schools until September.
By then, he figured the one tight end spot available at Michigan would be taken. The Wolverines have a group of players coming to campus in July, so All didn’t want to wait any longer.
“I told (Fairfield) coach (Jason) Krause I wanted to commit when I was up there, but he wanted me to sleep on it and if I still felt the same way then I could commit,” All said. “I knew I definitely wanted to go there, and I didn’t want to miss out just because I couldn’t go to the other schools until September – I probably wouldn’t even like them as much as Michigan.”
All had attended a camp at Michigan on June 18, then headed back for an unofficial visit Saturday after attending a 7-on-7 camp at Toledo with the Indians on Friday.
His commitment Sunday capped a whirlwind recruiting process the past seven months.
When All finished his junior season at Fairfield with a first-round playoff loss to St. Xavier, he had offers from the University of Cincinnati, Kentucky, Iowa and Rutgers. He knew he needed to add some weight to his 195-pound frame, so he changed his diet — he started eating six eggs and oatmeal for breakfast and snacking on protein bars about every two hours. He also regularly worked out at Parrillo Performance Training Center in Fairfield and is now up to 225 pounds.
Amidst his offseason efforts, All attended the U.S. Army All-American Combine on Jan. 5 in San Antonio, Texas, and earned first team All-American status. Suddenly the offers started rolling in. He has at least 25 now and ranks 22nd nationally among Class of 2019 tight ends, according to 247sports.com.
Michigan offered him on May 11.
“I did well at the combine and gained weight, and all of a sudden the bigger schools were offering,” All said. “I was just lifting like I normally do, but I changed my eating habits so I was eating a lot more and that made a big difference.”
All said the hard work was worth it, but now he looks forward to being able to just focus on his senior season. Fairfield, which has finished in the first round of the playoffs the last three years, looks to improve on a 6-5 finish.
Michigan is something to look forward to later.
“I was excited (to commit) but I was also relieved,” All said. “It’s like, ‘Just thank God I found a school.’ The recruiting process is stressful, so it’s nice to know I have a place I definitely want to go and I’m committed.”