Henry Poggi's last couple weeks before signing day were hectic to say the least. The four-star defensive tackle's commitment was reported to be in question as he took a visit to Alabama the week before Signing Day. The phones were quiet as he and his dad both decided to finish the process without getting the media involved. Some Michigan fans were worried, but last Tuesday, he signed the dotted line with the Wolverines and things couldn't be better now.
Poggi put on a great show at the Under Armour combine and all-star game.
"There was never a doubt in my mind I was headed to Michigan," he said. "My dad and Coach Saban are good friends and Alabama had been recruiting me the entire process. Coach Saban isn't an easy person to say no to, but out of respect I decided to take the trip down to Tuscaloosa to tell him I was committing to Michigan. I had talked it over with the Michigan coaches and they were great about it and understood."
The night before Signing Day, Henry tweeted a picture of Michigan pajamas that effectively ended any of the drama that had been building up to that point. Despite the reaction, Poggi didn't really get a sense of relief in making it public.
"I guess I didn't really look at it that way," he said. "I knew the entire time I was going to be a Wolverine. I kept quiet as the situation was going on because I just didn't really feel the need to deal with it at the time. I sent that out to let everyone know that there was nothing to worry about."
Besides the commitment situation, the talk centered around Poggi was mainly about his play in the Under Armour Game last month. While already being looked at as a high four-star in the 247Composite rankings, he had yet to attend any major camps or combines with some of the top players in his class. After his work in practice and in the game in Orlando, a lot of potential questions about his ability were answered.
"I felt pretty good about my performance," he said. "It was good to see what my strengths were and what my weaknesses were; the things I could get away with in high school that won't work against top competition. I was satisfied with how the trip went and felt like I competed at a high level."
Michigan has begun to build a lot of depth on its defensive line. With six players committed in the 2012 class and another three coming in this season, Poggi knows he'll have to work hard to find the field early, but will work towards doing so.
"The coaches want to start me off on the outside at a five-tech and play a similar position to where Craig Roh played this year," he said. "Then they eventually want to get me inside to a three-tech spot once I fill out. I'm coming in next season expecting I can compete. I know it sounds cliche, but as long as I'm doing the best I can, things will work themselves out. Either way, I'm looking forward to getting to Ann Arbor in June."
Another situation to watch is Michigan's presence at Gilman School, Henry's soon-to-be alma mater and one of the top high school football programs in the country. With four-stars Troy Vincent and Melvin Keihn both getting good looks from the Wolverines in this cycle, Henry has been open to talking to his teammates about the Michigan program, but won't attempt to be an influence on their decisions.
"Every person or player has their own situation," Poggi said. "Obviously, Michigan was the right situation for me just like Alabama was the right fit for (former teammate) Cyrus. If my teammates ask me about Michigan, I'll be willing to answer any questions for them and they know I'm happy with the decision I've made. In the end, it's their choice and so we'll see what happens with those guys."