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August 8, 2011Michigan has picked up yet another huge commitment, this time from a four-star defensive tackle. Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill's Ondre Pipkins ended his recruitment Monday by choosing the Wolverines over some of the nation's elite programs.
Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee were among those who had offered the 6-3, 325 pounder. The former Saginaw (Mich.) native grew up following U-M and Michigan State and has named former Wolverines LaMarr Woodley and Roy Manning as two of his good friends.
Pipkins said in a chat last month he'd like to wear No. 56, Woodley's number. He also gave several other clues that the Wolverines were his favorite.
"I did commit to Michigan today," Pipkins, Rivals.com's No. 246 player nationally, confirmed on his way to practice.
Pipkins became a candidate to crack the Rivals.com top 100 (to be updated later this month) with an outstanding summer in which he put on a show. He dominated at the Ohio State NIKE Camp as one of the top defensive performers to become one of the summer's fastest risers.
"The big defensive tackle was able to use his lower body strength to beat every opposing lineman in one-on-one drills," Rivals.com reported. "Pipkins still looks about the same weight as when we saw him at the U.S. Army Junior Combine in January, but the weight is proportioned differently now. Pipkins is built like a brick house, and when he decided it was time to get upfield, no offensive lineman showed the ability to stop him."
Pipkins took his first visit to Michigan for the July Barbeque at the Big House recruiting event and said it was more than he expected.
"I had a great time meeting with all the coaches and recruits. The meal was great and the barbeque, that was fun," Pipkins said after his trip. "You feel the college atmosphere just coming into the Big House. I had chills going down my spine. Looking up in the stands, it was crazy and I had a wonderful feeling there."
Pipkins and his father spent time talking with several Michigan staff members, including graduate assistant Manning, whom they have known for several years. The event attracted dozens of other Michigan recruits and commitments and gave Pipkins a chance to get to know several of those individuals, as well.
"I spent a little time with James Ross and he seemed like a good guy. He seemed like one of those recruits who is ready to get in, get going and get the team fired up," Pipkins said. "I talked to Mario Ojemudia a little bit and I talked to Danny O'Brien. They are all good guys and I can tell they are recruiting kids with character and integrity.
"Coach [Greg] Mattison said the whole team is built around the middle, so they're looking for a guy in the middle like me to come in and cause a couple problems for the opposing team. I feel I fit in with any defense. With my athleticism I can do just about anything a coach asks me to, so I can definitely fit in with Michigan's scheme."
Watch TheWolverine.com for more on this huge pick-up in the hours to come ...
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Follow Chris Balas on Twitter: @Balas_Wolverine