SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- It's widely assumed that Rivals100 Concord, N.C. defensive tackle Rick Sandidge will stay close to home and end up at either North Carolina or South Carolina. But the 6-foot-5, 265-pound prospect said this week that those making assumptions are getting ahead of themselves. He furthered that point by disclosing his plans to take an official visit to Michigan less than two weeks before Signing Day in February.
"I really enjoyed my visit there earlier this year," said Sandidge, who is scheduled to visit Ann Arbor Jan. 26. "I had a great time and I want to get back and get a better look."
Like most elite prospects being recruited by the Wolverines, Jim Harbaugh has taken a personal role in the pursuit of Sandidge, who said that's a major reason why he's leaving the door open for Michigan.
"Coach Harbaugh and [defensive line] Coach Mattison are my main recruiters," Sandidge said. "It was an honor to meet Coach Harbaugh, everybody knows him, not just for football. He's a celebrity. I thought he was going to be a funny guy when I met him and that's what he was. I'm looking forward to spending some more time with him."
The school's recent track record of developing defensive lineman is also playing a big part in Sandidge's interest and he said he was impressed with the school's defensive unit as a whole in 2017.
"They've shown that they know how to take good players and develop them," he said. "They are helping guys reach their full potential and that's what I want to do, keep getting better."
Sandidge's recruitment is only expected to heat up between now and his trip to Ann Arbor, with schools like Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina all jockeying to land him. He's expected to announce a decision in February.