While walking about Michigan’s campus during an official visit earlier this month, four-star linebacker Semaj Bridgeman felt like he found his home.
He just needed to make sure so he made one other official visit — a midweek one to Rutgers last week.
Nothing changed for the Philadelphia Imhotep prospect with that visit, so he got organized and announced his commitment to the Wolverines on Friday.
“I know it was the right fit for me because on our official visit when I went up there, they showed me the plan they had for me, they showed me my film and how I fit into their defensive schemes,” Bridgeman said. “The relationship I have with (linebackers) coach (George) Helow, coach luxury, (assistant) coach (Grant) Newsom has been an ongoing thing, sot that was big.”
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Bridgeman, who is the No. 5 player in Pennsylvania in 247Sports’ rankings, had a top six that also included Georgia, Oregon, Alabama and South Carolina.
However, Michigan won him over during his June 10-12 official visit.
“I knew when I was on campus for my official,” he said. “I just got the feeling, ‘This is the right place for me.’
“I really evaluated it well and I was going back into my hotel room thinking about it, talking to my parents about it, and they were telling me as well their opinions and me telling them my opinions, so I knew when I was on campus “
The defensive fit as an middle linebacker resonated with Bridgeman.
“In Michigan’s scheme, the MIKE ‘backer can blitz the edge, blitz the A gap, drop into coverage, cover the receiver. They have versatility with their MIKE ‘backer.
“It shows my game. So it’s basically like what I’ve been doing in high school, and that transition, is just like a higher level. So I’m just going to adjust and adapt but it’s stuff I’ve been doing so that’s why I feel as though it’s a good fit.”
Bridgeman also took Michigan’s non-sports reputation and alumni connections into account when picking a school.
“It was very important my decision because football is going to end one day, and that’s what my parents kept reiterating to me in this process,” he said. “Also, my mom is big on academics, so Michigan, and being a heavy academic school, was heavy for her. That’s what made her like so much.”
Bridgeman was supposed to visit Georgia the weekend after the trip to Michigan, but he canceled it. He then went to Rutgers, a school he visited a bunch of times, for an official visit so he had a comparison before making his pick.
“It is kind of like a sense of relief because the recruiting process is stressful,” he said. “I finally found where I wanted to be and I could grow and develop beyond football and on the football field.
“Also, just happiness I could fulfill my dream of going to college for free.”