5-star safety Leon McQuay III has a top five (per 247Sports) of Oregon, Florida State, Michigan, Vanderbilt and USC—all formidable options—but there's one program that sticks out as the best fit. The Michigan Wolverines would provide McQuay III with everything that he's looking for, from both a football and academic perspective.
So often, we forget that elite recruits are picking a school just as much as they are picking a football program, and by all accounts, a big factor in McQuay III's decision will be academics.
He's reportedly very interested in Audio Engineering (per ESPN.com), so going to a school with a solid music program and an audio production major is going to be important.
Vanderbilt is known for its great music program, and that's a reason it is undoubtedly in his top five, but the school does leave a bit to be desired from a football standpoint. McQuay III is a 5-star recruit (per Rivals.com), mind you, so as much as academics matter, one would be naive to think the quality of the football program isn't equally as important.
That would leave USC, Oregon, FSU and Michigan, which all boast top-notch football programs.
USC offers a Music Industry degree and FSU offers a Commercial Music degree. Both programs touch on elements of production, but it appears to be a subject rather than a focus. Oregon, on the other hand, reportedly would create courses (per Rivals.com) for McQuay III, as it doesn't have an audio engineering major or anything similar.
Michigan is known as one of the best academic schools in the country and it does offer a Bachelor of Science in Sound Engineering degree. It is a perfect choice for McQuay III from an academic standpoint.
In regards to football, Brady Hoke has rejuvenated the program and there's no doubting that Michigan is always nationally relevant. Hoke has done a great job of recruiting and bringing in talent, and the Wolverines can offer McQuay III a favorable depth chart. Safety Jordan Kovacs is a redshirt senior, and when he's gone, he'll be leaving behind some very big shoes to fill.
McQuay III has the talent to be that guy for Michigan. He's 6'2'', 185 pounds and runs a 4.57 40 according to Rivals.com. He's also the website's No. 2-ranked safety in the class of 2013.
Where will McQuay III end up?
Michigan is on the way back up to the top of the Big Ten and it can provide McQuay III with the opportunity to play a big role in a nationally relevant program in addition to the chance to win a ton of meaningful games. The fact that the school also has the perfect major for him really sets the Wolverines apart.
McQuay III has officially visited Oregon, Florida State, Michigan and Vandy, according to Blake Alderman of Rivals.com, and he's planning on visiting USC.
All five schools are great options for the 5-star safety, but if he's looking for the chance to play elite level football while studying music production, the Wolverines would offer him the best experience.
As a student athlete, and an elite one at that, McQuay III couldn't find a better fit than Michigan.