The Ballad of Pearlie Graves

A series exploring the commitments (and subsequent decommitments) of Michigan’s lost members of the class of 2009. This one has by far the most literary-sounding title.

2009 DT Pearlie GravesThe Commitment
Pearlie Graves’s recruitment stayed under the radar until he committed to Michigan. He was offered in the summer, but most fans thought that he was to be forgotten about when Dequinta Jones went blue. However, the Wolverine coaches stayed on Graves, and even when he came on an official visit to Ann Arbor, most Michigan fans thought “what a waste for a guy that isnt coming here.” In late November, he pulled the trigger for Michigan, and fans were no longer down on him, as he had become a 4-star to at least one site.

The Decommitment
For much of the recruiting process following Graves’s commitment, most Michigan fans thought that he was more likely to stick with Michigan than fellow DT DeQuinta Jones. He made little mention of taking other visits (though he had apparently gone on some without alerting the recruiting sites or even Michigan’s coaches). Still, he seemed likely to stick until the very end, when Big 12 teams and even a couple from the SEC came calling. Graves said he would make his final decision on Signing Day, and by that time Michigan’s chances looked rather grim. Indeed, when he faxed in National Letter of Intent, it went to Lubbock, Texas rather than Ann Arbor.

The Impact
This one hurt. Though Michigan landed Big Will Campbell in the class of ’09, they needed more than one defensive tackle, and whiffing on two guys (both of whom considered themselves “committed” to Michigan up until the last minute) on Signing Day was a major blow. Michian now finds itself in need of multiple defensive tackles for the second year in a row, and the class of 2010 is not nearly as strong at the position was was last year’s crop.

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