Coach Tony Broering tells his Northmont High School football players he gives college recruiters the truth about them. Those recruiters want to know about character, work ethic, tenacity, toughness — so many things beyond what they see on video and in the box scores.
Broering will never lie, he said, because it’s about the next kid.
“If you fudge around on a player and then it doesn’t work out,” he said, “and the next time they come in, then they don’t believe what you say.”
Broering has enjoyed talking to coaches from the University of Michigan about two of his juniors this year because they check all those boxes so well. Wide receiver Markus Allen committed to the Wolverines on April 28, and safety Rod Moore announced his decision Sunday.
Allen and Moore are the type of guys Broering would trust to drive his 8-year-old son A.J. to school. That’s exactly what he told the Michigan coaches, including offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and defensive coordinator Don Brown.
“If I needed them to watch my son, I would let them do it because they’re really good kids,” Broering said. “They have high character. They have high morals. They’re not doing things they’re not supposed to do. There’s a lot of temptation for boys to not go down the right path, but we’ve been lucky with the last handful of fellows we’ve had who have really been raised right by their folks.”
Allen and Moore both picked Michigan without visiting campus. They couldn’t because of the coronavirus pandemic. Moore had a visit scheduled for March 14. That was cancelled, but he still received a scholarship offer March 18.
At first Moore was concerned he wouldn’t get to visit, but he said, “I did a lot on my own, watching videos on YouTube and doing the (virtual) tours they sent me.”
Allen helped with Moore’s decision, as did former Northmont defensive lineman Gabe Newburg, who was a freshman at Michigan last season. Moore also talked to Michigan safeties coach Bob Shoop, head coach Jim Harbaugh, Brown and others. In the end, he felt Michigan offered him the best combination of academics and football.
“I feel like it’s a good place,” he said.
Moore and Allen join a 2021 Michigan class that ranks 10th in the nation, according to 247Sports.com. They are both three-star recruits.
“I’ve known Rod for a lot longer because he’s always been with us,” Broering said. “I’ve know him since eighth grade. I first got him on the radar because I’m the head track coach, too, and I saw him running on the track when he was in middle school. When you’re on one side with the varsity and the other side is the middle school and you see the same kid winning every race, you wonder who that kid is and that was Rod. He stood out with his speed. His sophomore year when we were 10-1, he was the only sophomore that played. That team was really loaded.”
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Moore and Allen plan to graduate from Northmont early and enroll at Michigan in January, Broering said. They benefitted from a parade of coaches visiting Northmont in recent years to see other players, like Newburg, Iowa linebacker Jestin Jacobs, who redshirted as a freshman last fall, and defensive lineman Jaiden Cameron, who enrolled at Northwestern in January.
“They just got their eyes on them,” Broering said. “You see Markus running around in the gym, and your eyes are drawn to him. He kind of stands out physically. You watch Rod work out, and it’s a no-brainer. They just started getting offers, and it starts snowballing from there.”
Allen attended Xenia High School his first two years before transferring to Northmont. Last year, he caught 51 passes for 1,087 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“He’s a fine young man,” Broering said. “We’re so lucky they moved in last year. I didn’t really know much about him until the summer when he showed up and enrolled at Northmont. It was a big transition for him coming from the triple-option style to the spread. Last summer, he worked really hard at it to get it down and learn the combination routes and understand how to run the routes and where he’s supposed to be on every play. Then he had the big year and really broke out and dominated.”
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