Widely regarded as the top-rated baseball prospect in the state for the Class of 2019, Columbus St. Francis DeSales outfielder Joey Velazquez received and accepted an offer to play baseball at Ohio State nearly two years ago.
As opportunity to play football at Michigan threw a wrench in those plans, though, and Velazquez flipped his pledge to the Wolverines on Friday morning.
The 6-foot, 205-pound Velazquez — who is considered the 79th-best safety and No. 968 prospect in the country — picked up an offer from Michigan back in March. The Wolverines beat out Cincinnati, Holy Cross, Indiana and Kent State for his pledge.
“To get an offer from the University of Michigan is very humbling and a great honor,” Velazquez told Eleven Warriors this spring. “I love the game of football, and when you think about football and all of the great college programs [there are], Michigan is one of the greatest programs ever in college football.
“Of course [I grew up an Ohio State fan], but I’ve always had great respect for Michigan and love the rivalry.”
The Buckeyes had been keeping tabs on Velazquez following a strong junior season in which he racked up 495 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns while playing running back and wide receiver and recorded 50 tackles, four pass break ups, three tackles for a loss and two interceptions on defense. The staff even invited him to attend games against Oklahoma, UNLV and Penn State last year, and he returned to campus for a one-day camp earlier this month.
Velazquez put on a solid performance for defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and linebackers coach Bill Davis, but the staff did not offer — hence his decision on Friday.
NCAA rules stipulate Velazquez’s scholarship will count toward the Wolverines' football allotment.