Tonight, Michigan picked up a preferred walk-on with the commitment of Warren (MI) De La Salle wide receiver Jack Wangler. Wangler is the son of former Michigan quarterback John Wangler and is the current teammate of 2013 quarterback Shane Morris. I talked with Wangler about his decision to join the Wolverines.
"I wanted to make the decision soon. Everyone was asking me if I was going to take the preferred walk-on spot, and in the end I decided to do it," Wangler said. "It ended up being a really easy decision and I can't wait to get onto campus."
Needless to say, Wangler is looking forward to carrying on the tradition set forth by his dad. John Wangler is most famously known for the game winning touchdown pass to Anthony Carter in a Michigan victory over Indiana in 1979 that resulted in legendary announcer Bob Ufer's most famous call. He's also a former Big Ten Medal of Honor winner (1980) for his excellence in academics and athletics and led Michigan to a Rose Bowl victory over Washington in 1981.
"I can't wait to carry on the Wangler name at Michigan," he said. "Before I made it public, I was sure to call my dad and let him know what I had decided to do. He was definitely excited. Being around Michigan my entire life and experiencing it so much the past couple seasons really made it an easy choice. My dad said my years at Michigan will end up being the best four or five years of my life. I know they were for him."
He's not going to be content, however.
"I'm coming in to play," he said. "I will make an impact at Michigan. It might not be right away and I know I'm going to have to work harder than I ever have, but this is something I realized before I made the decision. I'm coming in knowing I have to compete, but I'm also coming in knowing I can compete and become the player I want to be if I work at it."
Besides the connections through his dad and with Shane, Wangler has played on the Maximum Exposure 7v7 team for the last couple seasons; a group that included current commitments Khalid Hill and Dennis Norfleet among others. Wangler feels strongly about his abilities because of his experiences at these tournaments and on the field.
"I know I can play with players at a high level," he said. "We've played against some of the best players in the country, whether it be Leon McQuay or Vernon Hargreaves for Team Tampa, or any of the guys I've played against on our own team. Whether I'm a scholarship player, a regular walk-on or a preferred guy like I am, I am going to give it my all and I know I can succeed."
Wangler's familiarity with the program and his relationship with Shane Morris and other former MaxEx teammates gives him a unique advantage over most players in his position. He'll be comfortable, allowing him to focus on working his way up the depth chart and onto the field. A great pick-up for the Wolverines.