For more than two years, Downers Grove South star Erik Swenson believed he would be signing with his dream school, Michigan, when he finally got the chance in February 2016.
The highly recruited offensive tackle rejected offers from other schools, including national powerhouse Alabama, to honor the commitment he made to then-Michigan coach Brady Hoke. Swenson told friends he had dreamed of going to Michigan since he was 5.
That dream was shattered this week when Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh rescinded the scholarship offer, saying the Wolverines were going with other recruits instead. Swenson reportedly was the first commitment in Michigan’s 2016 class.
Michigan’s reversal comes at a time when most of the top schools have already filled their spots.
“It’s unfortunate for a kid who had committed and was going to do the right thing, and never tried to hold four or five offers,” Downers Grove South coach Mark Molinari told the Detroit Free Press.
Michigan has refused to comment, citing NCAA regulations prohibiting schools from discussing unsigned recruits.
Swenson, a 6-7, 310-pound star who will attract plenty of attention, is taking the news in stride.
“Sure, I’m disappointed,” Swenson told the Free Press. “But I’m a believer in ‘everything happens for a reason,’ and I’m thankful that they at least gave me some time.
“I can’t bash coach Harbaugh. I see football a different way than he does. You’ve got to respect the guy.”
Swenson reached out to Ohio State and Notre Dame, but both schools said they had filled their positions.
“They said, ‘We’d love to have you. We’d even get rid of another kid to get you, but we’re not like that,’ “ Swenson told the Free Press. “Which I respect. I would hate for this to happen to another kid who doesn’t deserve it.”