INDIANPOLIS — Erick All grew up in Southwest Ohio, but he never dreamed of playing for Ohio State.
“My dad’s side of family being from Alabama, we were always Bama fans,” the Michigan tight end said this week at Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis. “And ever since I stepped foot on Michigan’s campus, I just fell in love with them and can’t believe I didn’t love Michigan my whole life as great as Michigan is, you know?”
Originally from Hamilton, All said he moved to Fairfield in eighth grade because he had a cousin there.
“I feel like it was the best decision I’ve made in my life to go there,” he said. “It’s kind of like Ann Arbor, Mich. Everyone is loving. Everyone accepted me. Just great people. They just welcomed me with open arms and it was great being there and living there.”
He steadily became a key contributor for the Indians, catching 15 passes as a sophomore, 28 as a junior and 30 as a senior for head coach Jason Krause, whom he said he remains in touch with.
“Him being my coach, he just like expected me to be perfect,” All said. “He was just a great coach. He made me better for sure.”
By his senior year, All was a a four-star prospect ranked No. 10 in Ohio.
He was also already verbally committed to Michigan after putting together an impressive offer list that included Notre Dame, Michigan State, Florida State, Wisconsin and Duke.
Ohio State showed interest but never offered him a scholarship, something that did not concern All much then or now.
“They talked to me a lot, but for them I was too small or something, but it is what it is.”
After All said he never really liked Ohio State, a reporter asked why.
“Because they’re Ohio State,” he replied with a laugh. “I just don’t like them. I don’t like their fans. I’m a Michigan man. You just can’t.”
All played in 11 games as a freshman at Michigan and all six in 2020 before enjoying a breakout 2021 campaign.
He started eight games and played in 13, finishing with 38 catches for 437 yards, both second on the squad.
All earned honorable mention All-Big Ten, and his biggest moments came in some of Michigan’s biggest games.
He caught a 47-yard touchdown against Penn State that turned out to be the game-winner, and he had 43 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Big Ten Championship Game against Iowa.
He was the team’s leading receiver in the College Football Playoff loss to Georgia, hauling in four passes for 63 yards.
Now listed at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, All is looking forward to being even better as a senior for the Wolverines.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean catching more passes.
“You always want to improve yourself and get better for the team and get out there and win games,” he said. “I don’t try to pay attention to stuff like that (catches). I did in the past and it just let me to an awful season in 2020.”
Of course, All would like to get another win against Ohio State before he’s done in Ann Arbor.
He was all smiles when Michigan’s 42-27 victory over the Buckeyes last season was brought up, a result he said was not surprising to him.
“I watched a lot of film of them, and I watched a lot of film on us, too, so I was expecting us to do what we did, and we’re going to be expecting to do the same thing this upcoming year,” he said.
Since that game, he has enjoyed bragging rights back home but said most of the response has been respectful.
“Guys would congratulate me and face it that we finally got the Big Ten and we did a lot,” All said. “There was a lot of work to get there and they really recognized that.”