Brian Gosset of Ohio Valley Athletics reported on Wednesday that highly sought after rising junior inside linebacker Michael Ferns (Saint Clairsville, Ohio) was ready to choose to play his college football with the Michigan Wolverines instead of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but the 6'3", 235-pounder did not officially commit until Thursday night.
Out of over 20 scholarship offers, Michigan and Penn State appeared to be the top two in Ferns' recruitment, however everything changed for the class of 2014 linebacker when the NCAA levied severe sanctions against Penn State's football program, which included a four-year ban from all postseason games.
Last Monday, Ferns had plans to shut down his recruitment and focus on his upcoming football season after making return visits to Michigan and Ohio State.
Fortunately for Michigan football head coach Brady Hoke, the No. 2 ranked prospect in the state of Ohio decided a chance to play football and have a chance to earn a degree from one of the nation's best universities in the country was too much to pass up.
Ferns is the first member of Michigan's 2014 recruiting class and if the Saint Clairsville standout is as good of a recruiter as their top class of 2013 commit Shane Morris (Warren, Mich.) then the Wolverines should be on their way to another reeling close-knit, nationally ranked group of prospects.
If Ferns is ranked inside the Rivals250 rankings when they are unveiled next year, he will be the sixth nationally ranked linebacker to pledge maize and blue in Michigan's 2012, 2013 and 2014 classes.
Check back for more updates and quotes about Ferns' decision to become a Wolverine in the coming days.
Zach Dirlam is the former lead editor of the college basketball section as well as Big Ten columnist for the FOX Sports/MSN/YardBarker affiliate website Sports at Work. Check out his blog, Dirlam's Dirty Dugout Sports Blog, which features this story, along with other articles and video reports on major sports.
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