April 5, 2012

Sophomore quarterback grew up loving Michigan

Toledo, Ohio is often seen as ground zero for the biggest rivalry in college football. On the border between Michigan and Ohio, the city's loyalties are split between Wolverines and Buckeyes.

One player who grew up in Toledo as a Michigan fan is high school sophomore DeShone Kizer. Fortunately for Michigan, Kizer is a standout quarterback at Central Catholic High School, and his childhood fandom of the Wolverines could be a boost when the recruiting process rolls around.

"Michigan has always been one of my family's top schools and top choices," Kizer said. If I ever get the chance to have the opportunity to play at a school like that, I'm definitely going to take a good look at their school."

Michigan has yet to offer the 6-4, 205-pounder, but a couple schools have. Nearby MAC programs Toledo and Bowling Green have extended offers to him, and Syracuse was the first BCS-conference program to throw their hat in the ring. When it comes time for Kizer to make a decision, those schools could see a boost.

"Toledo and BG, those are my hometown schools," Kizer explained. "Syracuse, they were the first BCS program to offer me. When it comes down to it, I'll remember they were the first ones to recognize my talent."

Plenty more schools are likely to recognize that talent down the road. 2013 teammates Jayme Thompson and Keith Towbridge have attracted the attention of several colleges - Thompson recently switched his college commitment from West Virginia to Ohio State - and their presence will garner some recognition for their younger teammate, as well.

Kizer also plans to do a little bit of first-hand research on his own. Although he has a busy schedule with baseball and basketball extending through the summer, he'll try to find the time to make some college visits.

"I want to get up to Michigan, and then also I'm planning on going to Ohio State's three-day or two-day positional camp," he said. "From there, I might give Michigan State a shot if my schedule allows it. If I do get invited to any of the bigger quarterback camps or bigger scouting camps, then I definitely want to try to make a couple of those."

When he does appear at those camps, colleges are apt to like what they see out of him. He's a strong-armed signal-caller with the athleticism to extend plays when the pocket breaks down.

"I love to consider myself a passing quarterback who can extend the play. I love to sit in the pocket and just pick defenses apart, but if needed and the pocket collapses, I can definitely extend the play with my legs."

He used that playmaking ability to help lead his team to an 8-4 record on the field this fall. Soon enough, he'll have the opportunity to pick a college program to lead, as well.

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