It is no secret that college football recruiting can get nasty. According to one recruiting insider, Notre Dame and Michigan have that going on in their battle for a foreign-born prospect.
Sam Webb runs Michigan’s 247Sports site. He also hosts a local morning sports talk show on WTKA 1050 am.
During this morning’s episode, Webb described a scenario, in which Notre Dame coaches told a prospect from abroad and his parents that they needed to worry about crime in Detroit if he goes to Michigan.
This doesn’t make a ton of sense, considering Ann Arbor is a solid 45 minutes outside of the city. However, as Webb notes, for a family that isn’t from the area, it could be a pretty insidious recruiting tactic.
Some key portions of the segment:
“‘Young man, parents of young man, you gotta be aware over there in Ann Arbor. Have you seen the crime rates in Detroit? Have you seen the murder rates, the violent crime rates in Detroit? … It just might not be a safe environment in Ann Arbor’
Now if you’re not from around here, if you’re from out of the country, you see that and you think “If I go outside I’m going to get robbed!” You might think that, if you see some of these numbers.
Why on Earth would you bring up the crime rate of Detroit when you talk about Michigan? Is it at all relevant.
But, it’s something that came up. It’s something that had to be addressed.”
Webb would not specify who the foreign-born Michigan and Notre Dame recruit was.
Earlier this month, defensive end David Ojabo visited the two schools a few days apart. He was born in Nigeria and grew up in Scotland before moving to New Jersey for high school.
The two schools could also have hosted a recruit from Canada, which produces its share of FBS players.
Negative recruiting is obviously no secret in college football. However, bringing up crime in a city almost an hour away seems to be beyond the pale.
The Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry isn’t being kept to recruiting this year. The two teams face off to open the 2018 season in South Bend.