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January 5, 2011
Michigan prospects react to firing
SAN ANTONIO - Prospects here at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl reacted to the news about Michigan firing coach Rich Rodriguez and the responses were mixed.
The two Michigan targets who are announcing at Saturday's game - four-star athlete Kris Frost and four-star safety Wayne Lyons - both said they have not eliminated the Wolverines and still plan to make their commitments. The two will spend the next few days evaluating the situation but don't plan to wait any longer.
"I'm still considering them because you have to pick the school and not the coach and Michigan is still a great school and a great program," Lyons said.
"They're still in it. (The firing) is not a surprise. I kind of expected it. It's a great learning lesson because a lot of top schools for me like Stanford might get a new coach, Florida has a new coach and Michigan is getting a new coach so it goes to show the school is more important than the coach."
The Matthews (N.C.) Butler athlete has camped for three summers in Ann Arbor and had developed a lengthy and meaningful relationship with Michigan's staff.
"It has a big impact," Frost said. "With him being fired of course it's going to make me think twice about it but at the same time people go to colleges for colleges.
"I love Rich Rod and I love what he did offensively and defensively with the defensive coordinator. I feel like given another chance, they had so many young players, it would have helped out more to give him another chance. It's a business and we understand that."
Frost added, though, that his final decision will not be impacted by the Rodriguez news. That could be interpreted that he'll pick Michigan even after the firing or that the Wolverines weren't going to win out for his services even if Rodriguez was retained.
"I'm going to rethink some stuff but at the same time the ultimate decision won't change on where I've been thinking about going or where I was planning on going with Auburn, LSU and Michigan," Frost said. "I have to reevaluate things when my mom and dad get here (Wednesday) and I'll make my decision from there.
"I don't eliminate them. Just the bond I had with the school, not the program, I don't eliminate them but you have to think about that kind of thing because it is about college and the education at Michigan is going to be great. At the same time, I don't want to waste four years of my football career."
Michigan commit Blake Countess, a four-star cornerback from Olney (Md.) Good Counsel, said he's sticking with the Wolverines until after the Army game and then will return home to discuss his future with his family.
"Right now I'm worried about winning this game, I'm going to focus on this game and then go back home and talk to my parents and see how things go but right now I'm sticking with Michigan," Countess said.
"I fell in love with the school so right now I'm staying with Michigan because of the school but hopefully I can build a relationship with the new coach. I'm just going to focus on this game and then evaluate what's best for me and my family."
At least one prospect, though, has already decided to eliminate Michigan. Danville (Ky.) Boyle County inside linebacker Lamar Dawson said after hearing the news that the Wolverines will no longer be considered.
"It just eliminates them," Dawson said of the Wolverines. "I was going to take my official up there but since he's not up there I'm not going to do that anymore.
"If he got fired I wasn't going to consider them. If he stayed I was going to consider them and take my visit up there."