Only a few weeks ago, 2020 3-star offensive tackle Grant Toutant had never visited Michigan before. Now Toutant is coming off his second game at the Big House and is more impressed.
I recently talked with the Warren De La Salle lineman about his visit for the Wisconsin game and his plans for his recruitment going forward.
Safe to say, the Wisconsin experience was a little different than the one against Western Michigan, which was Toutant’s first visit.
“It went good, a lot more people than the last time. The game itself was probably my favorite part. The energy of the stadium and fans,” Toutant said.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle was also impressed with how Michigan played, especially on the offensive line.
“I think the O-line did very (well) if you look at the rushing yards that Michigan had, none of that would’ve been possible if the O-line did not have a good performance. And they kept the pocket clean on passes while completing about 75 percent of their passes. Overall, they just shut down Wisconsin’s D-line,” he said.
Besides the atmosphere and performance by Michigan, something else made Toutant’s visit special, a scholarship offer from Wisconsin. Toutant, who before Saturday only had offers from Toledo and Indiana State, called the offer “amazing and completely unexpected.”
Unfortunately, he didn’t receive one from the Wolverines, but he didn’t have much of an opportunity to talk with the coaches before game time. He had to arrive late because of a team breakfast and walk-through in the morning.
“I really didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone,” Toutant explained. “It was a really busy atmosphere compared to my last visit. Said a brief ‘hi’ to (offensive line) coach (Ed) Warinner,” he said.
It was a clever move by Wisconsin to offer the junior while he was visiting Michigan. We all know by now if Wisconsin wants a lineman, he’s probably special. I expect Michigan to follow up with an offer soon once they get a chance to talk with Toutant longer.
Besides Michigan, Toutant is hoping to get offers from several other schools. He broke down what he liked about each school.
“That’s tough, growing up here obviously Michigan State — my dad is an alumni,” Toutant said. “Notre Dame because of it’s Catholic heritage; that’s something that is very important to me. Iowa, being it’s another strong offensive team. Northwestern being it is a technical school and I want to go into mechanical engineering, and Penn State for the consistent offense and high academic support.”
He had plenty of good things to say about all those other schools, so I had to see what he specifically liked about Michigan. His answer did not disappoint.
“Probably coach (Jim) Harbaugh, the way he interacts with his players,” he said. “The first time I met him I was at a camp Michigan was at. He came right up to me and just started working with me and running the drill I was in like it was no big deal. The couple times I have talked with him he just seems real.”
After his two trips to Ann Arbor, Toutant has more visits planned. He’s going to be at Penn State Oct. 27, Wisconsin the next week and Iowa the week after that. He’s also trying to get to Notre Dame during the week to see practice.
As for when he thinks he’ll commit, Toutant says it’s “too far away right now,” but he’s not worried.
“Still have to finish this season and I have all of next year. I have to see what it all brings. I keep getting bigger, stronger and improving my skills. When the time is right I think I’ll just know,” Toutant said.
Michigan is off to a good start in this recruitment, and the improved offensive line under Warinner should only help its chances.