PLYMOUTH — Plymouth Rockies offensive lineman Dan Samuelson made it official Wednesday morning — next year he will be a Michigan Wolverine.
After a long-involved recruitment period, Samuelson arrived at his decision for a simple reason.
“Coach Hoke and academics,” said Samuelson of his decision of U of M. “I want to study Special Education.”
That decision — along with many others for the Samuelsons — is family-related.
“Being with Hanna (Samuelson’s cousin) as much as I am really made up my mind,” he said. “I don’t see anybody with special needs; I just see special people, and I want to spend my life doing what I can to help them and teach them.”
Samuelson himself had some help along the way in his own home. His father Tom was himself a North All-Star as an offensive lineman and played college football as well.
“I did what I could to help him with his technique, teaching him the stuff I learned along the way,” said Tom. “I worked with him quite a bit when he was younger. Ever since he was little I just tried to make it so he was ready for all of it, that he had a better chance to succeed than I had.”
He also was able to lend a hand in the recruiting process.
“He and I would role play when we were driving to a school,” said Tom. “I’d ask him what he was going to say if they asked this question or that one. I’d be the coach and he’d be him. It made me proud when a lot of the coaches said they were as impressed with him as a person as they were with him as a football player.”
The whole process was a roller coaster ride that all the Samuelsons are glad to have over with.
“There were a couple of offers he had that I told him if he didn’t take them I would,” laughed Tom. “I remember the first trip we made to Iowa, that was a long weekend. We ended up staying over for several days at Illinois because we weren’t sure if they were going to make an offer. The extra days in the hotel room weren’t good for either one of us.
“Today I’m relieved like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve been ready for this after such a long time.”
Being at Ann Arbor means another positive for the family.
“I have to say being that close was a big positive,” said Dan. “I’ve already started trying to adjust to not being around my family as much. That’s going to be a big adjustment.”