Kyle Bosch, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman from Wheaton St. Francis, has become the first member of what is being characterized as one of the most talented classes in the history of high school football in Illinois to make an oral commitment.
During a campus visit on Saturday, Bosch announced he will attend Michigan. He had 23 scholarship offers, including Alabama, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Stanford, Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Missouri, Miami, Illinois and Northwestern. In the end, he said, he chose Michigan over Michigan State and Stanford.
"It felt so right," Bosch said. "I visited several schools and I was all over the place. The recruiting began to be a little overwhelming. It was time to make a decision. I had to put my foot down. I finally decided that I wanted to be a Michigan Man.
"The coaches, staff, academics, football, tradition, everything they have to offer. I didn't get that gut feeling anywhere else in the country. In the end, it came down to academics. It just felt so right. I'm so excited to be a Michigan Wolverine. I couldn't see myself going anywhere else."
"Michigan did the best job of recruiting him," said recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. "He is a legitimate four-star plus player. He is consistent, athletic, versatile, technically sound and has great feet. He impressed everyone when he went their college camps."
Bosch was recruited by Michigan receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski, a former quarterback at Palatine who was USA Today's Player of the Year in 1992, and offensive line coach Darrell Funk, who made 17 visits to Wheaton St. Francis over the past year.
"They have recruited Bosch for a year," Lemming said. "Why did he decide to commit so early? He got overwhelmed. There was a lot of pressure on him. He committed to a school while attending an event. But I don't think anyone would say that he made a bad decision. He is a Big 10 player."
Bosch is the first member of the class of 2013 in Illinois to made a commitment. Curiously, he is one of three nationally ranked offensive linemen from the state to be offered by Michigan. The others are Lemont's Ethan Pocic and Peoria Manual's Logan Tuley-Tillman, who has made five visits to the Ann Arbor campus.
Lemming ranks Bosch as one of the top five prospects in the Chicago area. He is ranked No. 44 in the country by one recruiting service and No. 60 by another. One service compared him to former Michigan All-American tackle Jeff Backus. Bosch already has been invited to participate in the second annual Semper Fidelis all-star football game next January in Phoenix,
A year ago, Lemming called Bosch "the best sophomore lineman he had seen since Chance Carter," the former Loyola star who currently is at Northwestern. Lemming and long-time observers of high school football in Illinois said Bosch, as a freshman, was the best young prospect since Evanston's Howard Jones.
"He is the best young offensive lineman I've had in 30 years," said Wheaton St. Francis coach Greg Purnell. "He has the most big-time potential of anyone I've seen. He has an intensity level that I have never seen in a big guy. He plays with an edge. He can play on Sunday."
At the Junior Rank camp in Chicago in January, recruiting analyst Allen Trieu of Scout said Bosch stood out among all underclass linemen. "He is ahead of the curve and really impressive. He has excellent technique, is strong and plays mean and physical," Trieu said.
Recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt of Rivals said Bosch "stood out because he is well ahead of his years technically." He reportedly went undefeated in one-on-one pass blocking drills at the Junior Rank camp.
Hecklinski and Funk liked what they saw early on. Michigan extended an offer last October. Bosch visited the campus in September for the MichiganNotre Dame game and was very impressed with what he experienced.
"Ann Arbor is beautiful," he said at the time. "Their academics are among the best in the country."
Bosch isn't the only Illinois product that Michigan is recruiting. Pocic, Tuley-Tillman, running back Ty Isaac of Joliet Catholic and wide receiver LaQuon Treadwell of Crete-Monee also have been offered.
Isaac, Illinois' Player of the Year in 2011, has more than 20 offers, including Michigan, Ohio State, USC, Auburn, Tennessee, Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arkansas.