Ricky Doyle, a 2014 big man recruit out of Ft. Meyers, Florida committed to Michigan today. We caught up with Doyle to discuss his visit, how he felt when he received his Michigan offer last night, and how he ultimately came to be a Wolverine.
Talk to me about your visit to Michigan this weekend.
“We started off visiting the academic center, the Ross School of Business and all over campus. I ended up seeing these mountain lion-sized squirrels. Down here in Florida, the squirrels are so small compared to the ones up there. After that, I went out to the Chop House with all the staff. Man, I took myself out — I got a nice steak. After that, I went out with Jon Horford and he took me to the dorms. I met all the guys, it was awesome. And then the next day, they showed me the Big House, the stadium. Man, it was the biggest thing I have ever seen. Oh, man. And then seeing the locker rooms where all the guys hang out and the training place where they lift weights, their rehab, and then the practice center — the coaches were like, ‘hey, the practice gym is open so you can go shoot in there if you want, but we can’t watch you.’ So, I was just in there by myself shooting. I’m just sitting there, and it was like, man this just feels right. The staff was great, they’re awesome guys. I can’t wait to spend more time with them.”
What did you think of the atmosphere at the Indiana game?
“It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. It was phenomenal. It was insane, man. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The band, doing all these chants they were doing, the fans going nuts.
Did you speak with any of the other recruits and commits at the game?
“Yes I did. I talked to most of the recruits who were there. They’re a great group of kids, man. Some of them were committed. I can’t wait to play with them.”
When during the visit were you officially offered a scholarship?
“The night after the game. We sat down at Pizza House. All the staff was there. Jon Horford, I was kind of shadowing him, he was taking me around. Coach Beilein sat me down, right at the end of the dinner, he basically laid the offer on the table and he said, ‘we’re offering you a scholarship.”
How did you feel when you heard that?
“I was just happy.”
When did you let the coaching staff know you were going to accept the offer?
“I was thinking about it after the Pizza House when I got offered. Jon took me out to his apartment, and we met a bunch of the guys there. After that I went back to the hotel and it was around 11:00. I had a discussion with my parents and I was just thinking to myself. Lavall Jordan, he was showing me around the day before. He told me he was a one-and-done, and his dad always told him, ‘son, what could get better than this?’ I really took that to heart and I thought, what could get better than this? I couldn’t think of anything. I was really talking to my parents that night. I wanted to call my high school coach first before I made a decision, so I was up at 6 in the morning the following morning talking to him and he said, ‘you’ve got to follow your heart on this one. If it feels right, go for it.’ And I followed my heart and I went for it. We ended up having breakfast with all the staff again at the hotel, and they were telling me what they were going to do to continue to recruit me, that they had four visits left and they were going to use them all, but I was like, ‘coach, I want to be a Wolverine.’”
What made you choose Michigan without going on all your other visits?
“When I was visiting the campus, I couldn’t think of anything wrong about it. Like, I was in the training room thinking wow, this is awesome. The coaching staff was awesome. They’re a great group of guys and I can’t wait to work with them. The staff, the gym, they had everything. Why wait when it’s right in front of you?”
How do you think your playing style will translate to Michigan and the Big Ten?
“Really good because we have a lot of recruits committed and we have some really good guards coming in. Derrick Walton — I think me and him are going to be pretty good friends — he’s a past-first point guard and I’m a back-to-the-basket post player but I can also face up in the mid-range area. I really feel like my game will fit in well with Michigan’s offense.”
What are you trying to develop about your game to get ready for college ball?
“Everything. I want to make sure I’m 100 percent ready for this next level. I’m going to be working. I’m going to keep in touch with coach BA, coach Jordan, and everybody just to make sure I can start working on what they would be working with me on when I got there. So I’m prepared for that kind of stuff. So it could be the double Mikan drill, or this rebounding drill they showed me. I’m just going to working real hard at getting a lot stronger for this college season.”
Is it nice to have this decision made going into your senior year?
“It’s a lot of weight off your shoulders. With everyone calling you and everything, it’s a good feeling when you know something’s right.”