Detroit Cass Tech 2019 four-star recruit Jaren Mangham talks about his recruitment on Monday at Cass Tech. He already has received an offer from Michigan State among numerous other Division I programs. Video by Chris Nelsen/DFP
The Chicago Simeon high school football team kept busy Thursday.
The Simeon Wolverines (0-1), who face host Detroit Cass Tech (0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday, left Illinois around 9 a.m., driving straight to the University of Michigan on Thursday for a tour of the football stadium, facilities and surrounding area.
Former Simeon and Michigan offensive lineman Chris Bryant, now Michigan’s director of high school relations, hosted the visit.
“Chris was always an outgoing person and did so well for us at Simeon,” Wolverines coach Dante Culbreath said at Thursday night’s dinner at Cass Tech, hosted by the Technicians. “He reached out to me and put it on the table, that we may be able to visit Ann Arbor.”
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Getting a firsthand view of Michigan Stadium was a memorable experience for Culbreath and his players.
“It was amazing to be at the University of Michigan in that big stadium,” Culbreath said. “I found out what the ‘Big House’ means. I saw it personally for myself. It was quite amazing.
“It’s a blessing for our kids to get out of the inner city and see this type of thing,” he added. “It should be motivational to our guys.”
With Bryant, a 2011 Simeon grad, leading Thursday’s tour, the current players saw a unique side of Ann Arbor.
“Oh, wow, it was unreal,” Simeon senior offensive/defensive lineman Tierre Turner said. “Not many people get a personal tour of the Big House and facilities. That’s something that I, nor my teammates, will ever forget.”
Simeon left Ann Arbor and drove straight to Detroit for Thursday’s dinner at Cass Tech. The Wolverines, who stayed at a hotel, were planning to get to bed early Thursday night.
“It’s been all road for us so far,” Culbreath said. “We haven’t been able to relax. We’ll get something to eat, have a few meetings and get a good night’s rest. Hopefully, we can hang in there with Cass Tech (on Friday).”
Technicians coach Thomas Wilcher said the dinner with Simeon was a success.
“Football is a game where you’re supposed to learn good sportsmanship and learn how to work with one another,” Wilcher said. “We’re trying to create good sportsmanship and friendship. We want Chicago Simeon to leave and say, ‘Hey, we had a good time. We’d love to come back to Detroit and play Cass Tech again.’ We need more teams willing to come to Michigan and play. We want to keep this bridge open.”