U-M Football Announces Signing of 21 Student-Athletes
Comments from Head Coach Lloyd Carr

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr announced the signing of 21 student-athletes to binding National Letters of Intent for the upcoming 2002 season. The announcement was made today (Wednesday, Feb. 6) -- the first day of the NLI signing period -- at a press conference held in the Michigan Sports Television Production Studio at 1 p.m. EST.

Four incoming recruits received recognition from USA Today, with defensive lineman Gabriel Watson (Novi, Mich./Southfield HS) being selected the publication's High School All-America second team along the offensive line. Wide receiver Jason Avant (Chicago, Ill./Carver HS) and quarterback Matt Gutierrez (Concord, Calif./DeLaSalle HS) were selected as "Players to Watch" in their respective states by USA Today. Tight end Mike Kolodziej (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic Academy) was named by the publication as one of the Super 25 football players.

This year's recruiting class includes 12 players from the state of Michigan, a record number of in-state recruits for Carr, who begins his eighth year as head coach. It is also the most in-state recruits for the Wolverines program in over 20 years. The Wolverines also added a pair of players from Illinois and Ohio, with a total of eight states comprising the sum total of this recruiting class.

Five members of the recruiting class will join former high school teammates on the Michigan roster. Defensive lineman Larry Harrison (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King HS) joins prep teammate Ernest Shazor, while running back Darnell Hood (Detroit, Mich./Bishop Gallagher HS) gets reacquainted with the Curry brothers (Julius and Markus) and Braylon Edwards. Running back Pierre Rembert (Milwaukee, Wis./Cudahy HS) looks to earn a spot alongside prep teammate John Navarre, U-M's 2001 starting quarterback. Linebacker Jeremy Van Alstyne (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove HS) reunites with punter/placekicker Adam Finley, and defensive back Jacob Stewart (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti HS/Bridgton Academy) looks to enter the defensive unit alongside prep teammate defensive lineman Alex Ofili. Stewart originally signed with the Wolverines last year but attended Bridgton Academy last fall.

Linebacker Brian Thompson (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel HS) continues the lineage in his family, entering the Wolverine family following this season's graduation of his brother Shawn Thompson, a co-captain and tight end on the 2001 Michigan team.

2002 Michigan Football Recruits (as of 1 p.m. EST, Feb. 6, 2002)

Name Pos.  Ht.    Wt.    Hometown (High School)
Jason Avant WR 6-2 195 Chicago, Ill. (Carver)
  Coach Willie Simpson
Willis Barringer DB 6-1 185 Toledo, Ohio (Scott)
  Coach Matt Davis
Tom Berishaj OL 6-5 295 Sterling Heights, Mich. (Stevenson)
  Coach Richard Bye
Rondell Biggs DL 6-4 250 Southfield, Mich. (Southfield Lathrup)
  Coach Stephon Thompson
Mark Bihl OL 6-5 265 Washington Court, Ohio
(Washington Court House)
  Coach John Enochs
Steve Breaston WR 6-0 170 North Braddock, Pa. (Woodland Hills)
  Coach George Novak
Greg Cooper DB 6-0 180 Flint, Mich. (Flint Northern)
  Coach Gary Lee
Matt Gutierrez QB 6-4 206 Concord, Calif. (DeLaSalle)
  Coach Bob Ladouceur
Dave Harris LB 6-1 217 Grand Rapids, Mich. (Ottawa Hills)
  Coach Jerry Dutcher
Larry Harrison DL 6-2 261 Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King)
  Coach James Reynolds
Darnell Hood RB 5-11 186 Detroit, Mich. (Bishop Gallagher)
  Coach George Sahadi
Mike Kolodziej TE 6-7 280 Joliet, Ill. (Joliet Catholic Academy)
  Coach Dan Sharp
Quinton McCoy DB 5-11 172 Mesa, Ariz. (Valley Christian)
  Coach Sean Loomer
Kevin Murphy TE 6-5 220 Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Central)
  Coach Tim McGee
Pierre Rembert RB 6-1 197 Milwaukee, Wis. (Cudahy)
  Coach Jeff Cavanaugh
Rueben Riley OL 6-3 311 Grand Rapids, Mich. (Creston)
  Coach Charles McEwen
Jacob Stewart DB 6-0 195 Ypsilanti, Mich.
(Ypsilanti/Bridgton Academy)
  Coach Rick Marcella
Carl Tabb WR 6-2 171 Ann Arbor, Mich. (Huron)
  Coach Paul Verska
Brian Thompson LB 6-3 215 Saginaw, Mich. (Nouvel)
  Coach Mike Boyd
Jeremy Van Alstyne     LB 6-4 224 Greenwood, Ind. (Center Grove)
  Coach Eric Moore
Gabriel Watson DL 6-4 334 Novi, Mich. (Southfield)
  Coach David Reese

Arizona (1): Quinton McCoy
California (1): Matt Gutierrez
Illinois (2): Jason Avant, Mike Kolodziej
Indiana (1): Jeremy Van Alstyne
Michigan (12): Tom Berishaj, Rondell Biggs, Greg Cooper, David Harris, Larry Harrison, Darnell Hood, Kevin Murphy, Rueben Riley, Jacob Stewart, Carl Tabb, Brian Thompson, Gabriel Watson
Ohio (2): Willis Barringer, Mark Bihl
Pennsylvania (1): Steve Breaston
Wisconsin (1): Pierre Rembert

Offensive Linemen (3): Tom Berishaj, Mike Bihl, Rueben Riley
Tight Ends (2): Mike Kolodziej, Kevin Murphy
Wide Receiver (3): Jason Avant, Steve Breaston, Carl Tabb
Running Backs (2): Darnell Hood, Pierre Rembert
Quarterback (1): Matt Gutierrez
Defensive Line (3): Rondell Biggs, Larry Harrison, Gabriel Watson
Linebackers (3): Dave Harris, Brian Thompson, Jeremy Van Alstyne
Defensive Backs (4): Willis Barringer, Greg Cooper, Quinton McCoy, Jacob Stewart

Contact: Dave Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423

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