Michigan loses Louisville (Ky.) Trinity 2019 four-star defensive end Stephen Herron Jr. to Stanford.
2019 DE Stephen Herron Jr. Opens Up On Commitment Flip From Michigan to Stanford
Herron informed the Michigan coaching staff of his commitment flip on July 18, then went public on July 23.
On the night of July 17, the entire recruitment of Stephen Herron Jr. changed.
The Louisville (Ky.) Trinity 2019 four-star weakside defensive end was officially accepted into the Stanford University as a student and knew he would flip his commitment.
He informed the Michigan coaching staff and fellow 2019 commits on July 18. Six days after being admitted to become a Cardinal, Herron went public with the information of his new commitment.
“For me, it’s not just football,” he told WolverinesWire. “I didn’t think I could pass up a Stanford education. I realize that a Michigan education isn’t far off, but the fact of the matter is a Stanford education would mean a lot.”
After Herron committed to Michigan on July 29 at the annual BBQ at the Big House, he realized over time that football does not last forever. He wanted the best education possible, which is why the move to Stanford was made.
In order to gain admittance to Stanford, Harrison was called upon to write seven essays. He always took the Cardinal offer from early in his recruitment seriously, but just wanted to get into the university from an academic standpoint before he thought about flipping from Michigan.
“Things went through my head and I reconsidered what I once thought,” Herron said of Michigan. “I had an offer from Stanford, but the entire admission process wasn’t easy, even as a football player. It wasn’t like I was not taking Stanford seriously, I just wanted to see if I could get in.”
Herron made it a priority to contact the Michigan coaches the day after getting his acceptance letter from Stanford. He also made sure to give it time before he went public.
His main reason – respect.
“If you wait to tell a coach at the same time you tell the public, that’s very disrespectful,” Herron said. “That can hurt you in the long run. When a coach leaves or joins a school, you expect them to tell you as a recruit.
“Even when I committed to Michigan, I still kept in contact with Stanford as much as they wanted to keep in contact with me. I stopped contacting schools on my end, but if they contacted me, I responded.”
Being committed to Michigan for nearly a year, Herron fell in love with the family aspect of Jim Harbaugh’s group. He plans to cheer for Michigan, as long as the Wolverines and Cardinal never meet on the gridiron.
“I loved the family factor (at Michigan),” Herron said. “Even after I told the coaches, I went in our group chat and told the other 2019 commits that I would be decommitting and wished the best for everyone. I hope the best for those guys and the coaching staff. I’m really excited (for them). Being a part of that family was great.”
The recruiting for Michigan will not stop either. If players directly contact Herron, he will give them an understanding of the family feel he felt while committed to the Wolverines.
“If they ask me what it was like while I was committed to Michigan, I’m not going to lie,” he added. “I’ll tell them straight. Like I was saying before, nothing negative affected my commitment to Michigan. It was just the fact that I got accepted somewhere else and feel that’s better for my future.
“If someone came to me, I’d tell them all the good I experienced at Michigan.”
At the college level for Stanford, Herron will play the same position as Curtis Robinson, who is used as a defensive end and outside linebacker. Robinson was a four-star enrollee in the 2016 class from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California.
“I’m excited to work at the defensive end or hybrid outside linebacker in a Pac-12 program,” Herron mentioned. “I’ve been really close to Stanford since they offered me. Michigan was a little bit over Stanford and at that time, I was ready to commit. I’ve been in contact with the entire coaching staff, even the defensive back and wide receivers coach.
“They always wanted to make sure I was doing OK, even though I was committed to Michigan.”
As a four-star prospect, ranked No. 86 in the nation, No. 5 at his position and No. 1 in Kentucky, the defensive end is ready to work hard for Stanford once getting on campus.
However, Herron will forever love and respect the Wolverines.
“I feel like Stanford fit me better for play style with pass rushing. I want to be somewhere where I’m not used, and I’m not saying Michigan was ever going to do that. Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich and Taco Charlton, who the staff compared me to, are all doing just fine.
“I just wanted to be used where I would fit best as an individual for my future.”
In the 2017 season, Herron made 43 tackles and eight sacks.
The Wolverines now have 18 players currently committed to the 2019 class.