Michigan's 2014 recruiting class is relatively small with only 16 total recruits but the coaching staff was still able to bring in a solid quartet of linebackers, led by Chase Winovich.
Winovich committed to Michigan just over a year ago, and was ranked the No. 18 outside linebacker in the nation. The 6-3, 226-pounder is nearly done with high school, and said he is ready to start his new journey in college as a Wolverine.
"I've been busy preparing for the next chapter of my life, both mentally and physically," he said. "I have spent a lot of my free time outside of football, enjoying my last days of being a senior in high school and hanging out with friends."
Although Winovich's high school football career has come to an end, it was a very successful one on and off the field. He made 70 tackles, had 13 sacks, forced three fumbles and recovered three more for his Jefferson Hill (Pa.) Jefferson team, while leading them an 11-1 record in 2013.
"My senior year was a blast," said Winovich. "Although I didn't accomplish all of what I wanted to do, which was win a state championship, I feel as if I challenged myself to reach new heights for all of my goals, while overcoming obstacles to be successful.
"I was also named Western Pennsylvania Player of the Year by MSA Sports Network, all while managing a 4.0 GPA."
Ann Arbor will be Winovich's new home in just a few days, as the recruits start to report to the school for the first time as student-athletes. Winovich said he spoke to cornerbacks coach, Roy Manning in the past month, and is ready to finally begin his football career at Michigan.
"I arrive on campus June 19th, and I couldn't be more excited," said Winovich. "It's an opportunity that I have been waiting for my whole life."
Noah Furbush is another incoming linebacker recruit in the class, someone Winovich has gotten particularly close to since committing to Michigan. The two will be roommates at Michigan, which could lead to great chemistry on the field.
"Noah and I get along great," Winovich said. "We haven't spent a ton of time together, but I've spent enough time to think he'll make for a great roommate, which I am grateful about."
Winovich will face some stiff competition at linebacker at Michigan with the guys already on the roster, but that won't scare him away. He chose the Wolverines for other reasons, and knows competition is just a part of life and the game of football.
"I chose Michigan because it is simply the greatest university in the world, and there just isn't a school to pick above it," he said. "There's going to be competition no matter where you go. It just is the name of the game. Survival of the fittest."
The 2014 season will be a big year for the entire Michigan football program, as the Wolverines look to improve off last year's season. Winovich has the highest of expectations for the team, but wasn't quick to make lofty expectations for himself.
"I believe the expectation at Michigan is always a Big Ten Championship, but the goal is always a national title," he said. "For myself, I just want to be the best freshman I can be, and balance school, football, and a social life successfully."
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