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June 1, 2013The first time he visited Michigan, he left Ann Arbor disappointed in not receiving an offer. Following the most recent trip, Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson linebacker Chase Winovich knew he should be a Wolverine.
The 6-4, 218-pounder picked up a U-M offer in the interim, and developed a strong friendship with Michigan commit Michael Ferns. This afternoon, Winovich pledged to the Wolverines' coaching staff over other finalists Ohio State and Pittsburgh.
Winovich becomes the second linebacker - joining Ferns in the 2014 class - and the eleventh commitment of the recruiting cycle. The commitment pushes Michigan to No. 3 in the Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings, behind only Tennessee and Texas. The Volunteers and Longhorns have 15 and 14 commitments, respectively.
In fact, it was the strong recruiting class that played a role in Winovich's decision to join. The three-star linebacker sees the opportunity to win - and win big - playing on a defensive unit that counts a five-star and two four-stars already in the fold in his class alone.
Winovich's height and pass-rush ability make him a great fit for Michigan's strongside linebacker position. Although he's slightly undersized, he should have the luxury of a redshirt year to build mass in preparation for a big role later in his career. He'd also have the opportunity to learn from all-Big Ten strongside linebacker Jake Ryan while he redshirts.
"They said they had me at Sam linebacker," he said. "That's where they'd start me off and possibly after having me around they could either have me go down to defensive end, or maybe evolve into more of a middle linebacker. They've compared me to Jake Ryan."
With Winovich in the fold, the eyes of Michigan recruiting turn to Detroit Loyola defensive end Malik McDowell and Bolingbrook (Ill.) defensive back Parrker Westphal, both of whom tentatively plan to make college commitments prior to the beginning of football season in the fall.
Stay tuned for more on the newest Michigan commitment in the coming days.