BY DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Editor
Published August 17, 2008
Freshman wide receiver Roy Roundtree couldn’t sleep the night before national signing day in February. He was debating whether to stick with his oral commitment to Purdue or switch to Michigan, so he called his uncle for advice.
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“ ‘Do you want to go to a winning tradition, or do you want to go to a school really in the Big Ten, always at the bottom?’ ” Roundtree said his uncle asked him. “Well, I was like, ‘I want to win. I want to have a nice college life. So I want to go to a school that’s going to win and produce players.’ ”
Michael Shaw, a freshman running back and wide receiver from the same high school (Trotwood-Madison High School in Ohio) as Roundtree, reneged on his oral pledge to Penn State in favor of the Wolverines. The pair’s decision led to widespread criticism of Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez’s recruiting techniques.
“If we had an early signing date, you wouldn’t have another outfit with a guy in a wizard hat selling snake oil to get a guy at the last minute, but that's what happened,” Purdue coach Joe Tiller told the Indianapolis Star on signing day.
Roundtree didn’t sign until after his other classmates (a third Trotwood-Madison alum, tight end Brandon Moore also signed with the Wolverines), and Purdue coaches kept calling during signing day.
Rountree said he texted Tiller on signing day to apologize for decommiting, but he regretted not calling.
“I ain’t the type of person that just goes out and do something like that, but it was the best decision for me,” Roundtree said.
Shaw made his first unofficial visit of his recruiting process to Michigan, but it wasn’t until Rodriguez was hired that he became really excited about playing for the Wolverines. After he took an official visit to Ann Arbor in January, Shaw said he spent a month going back and forth.
At Big Ten Media Days, Penn State coach Joe Paterno said he couldn’t get a hold of Shaw the night before signing day, but talked to Shaw’s father, who said Shaw would sign at eight the next morning.
Roundtree thought it was “crazy” when his parents told him about the all the criticism of Rodriguez. Shaw, on the other hand, wasn’t as surprised about the backlash.
“I didn’t plan for it to happen the way it happened, but, you know, the good thing is that I’m at a place where I’m happy, so no regrets,” Shaw said.
“The only thing,” Shaw continued before pausing. “No regrets.”