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February 6, 2013Warren De La Salle four-star quarterback Shane Morris was the first to fax in his letter of intent Wednesday morning. The standout told head coach Brady Hoke he planned to be first - and he was.
"He was the first commitment in this class," Hoke said on MGoBlue.com. "I think it was important to him he be the first guy in with his letter. There was a little competition with Channing Stribling, but there wasn't any question when I talked to him on the phone after he sent that letter in, he wanted to be first."
He proved to be a great recruiter, Hoke added.
"That tells you about the love and respect he has for Michigan and Michigan football," Hoke said. "He wants to surround himself with great integrity, quality characteristics we want for this program. The sky is the limit when he gets introduced with Al Borges, how he coaches the quarterback. We're excited what Shane brings, the intelligence factor that comes with being a quarterback.
"You've evaluated him so much. We spent probably 18 months on this class preparing guys, trying to find out as much as you can. You go to the schools, talk not just to the head coach and not just people in those capacities. James Hall's mother went down and talked to the custodian at Auburn, wanted to know what he thought of the head coach - I've learned from her."
Butler, N.C. cornerback Channing Stribling was the second to send his letter.
"Butler High School, great players have come from there, and Michigan had its share," Hoke said. "He came to camp, his coaches, and we've had a great relationship since we were here before. He competed every day unlike some who might stay for one day. The competitiveness he had - we're looking for corners with more range, length to him, and he had a tremendous senior year.
"With the size of some receivers, they change from game to game who you're playing. We felt we needed guys with more length."
Three-star defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. was next.
"With Maurice, No. 1, he played some tailback. A guy 275, 280 running the football," Hoke said. "You can see the niftiness and flexibility he had, the hips, the quickness, the explosion. Take that with what he did on offense - he did a good job with his athleticism. Watching him play physically at the point of attack, the first step, his quickness, he has all the things you're looking for.
"He's not as big height wise, but we did a good job here with Rob Renes, Grant Bowman. They weren't the biggest, but they were tough - very good technique and they love the game. There are taller guys out there, but you watched him play high school, talked to his coaches, met the family - we're very fortunate to have a great group of family and kids to be part of Michigan."
Wyatt Shallman, a big running back/H-Back out of Detroit Catholic Central, was next.
"He's coming out of a great program at Catholic Central with Tom Mack, one of the premier coaches in the country," Hoke said. "Matt Godin, Mike Martin - the list could go on and on of guys that came out of that program.
"Wyatt brings a big back, one of the things that was an emphasis for us. In high school, he was very multiple what he could do offensively and defensively. He has good explosion and quickness. We're really excited about Wyatt. Family is a big part of it, and I really think we've got a great character kid.
"He can do so many different things. He can line up single back and run zone, inside zone with power, run as a fullback, run I downhill in power. He's very athletic with good hands, skills that way. It's what you want - good football players."
Hoke said the early enrollees - Kyle Bosch, Jake Butt, Logan Tuley-Tillman, Taco Charlton, Ross Douglass and Dymonte Thomas - have acclimated well.
"Right now they are getting used to the classroom, study hall, all those things and then how you train to play," Hoke said. "We'll find out a little more in spring ball, but from the work ethic, how they're going to class, mixing it in in college campuses, they've all done a tremendous job. As most freshmen, the first couple workouts and classes and it's snowing and eight degrees, getting out of bed and where we need to be without mom shaking the bed a little is always an adjustment."