DETROIT – Western Michigan secured its 12th recruit for its upcoming class by flipping Toledo commit Paul Engram on Saturday.
Engram, a 6-foot, 205-pound Detroit Loyola linebacker, committed to UT in early April but his interest in the school waned after visiting Kalamazoo this spring.
As they do with most prospects, the WMU coaching staff connected with Engram on a personal level. The coaches created a laid back, family atmosphere while Engram was on campus, something UT couldn’t replicate.
“When I went to Western, it was ten times better than Toledo with not just facilities but with the people as well,” Engram said. “I’ve only been to Western three times, and it truly felt like I knew the guys and the coaches my whole life.
“Sometimes as a Toledo commit, I felt very distant from the coaches. When I committed to Toledo, it felt like I had a lot of pressure on me and a rush to commit but this time it was calm and cool.”
Engram wasn’t blown away by the facilities, immediate opportunity to play or even learning under second-year coach P.J. Fleck. What sold him, believe it or not, was an opportunity to live in Kalamazoo.
“The thing I like the most about WMU is its location,” Engram said. “Kalamazoo isn’t too small but not too big. It’s perfect and has all of the resources I (need) to make my college experience a success. I knew what I wanted to do after spending a day up there. It truly felt like I was at home.”
It’s clear why Fleck added Engram to the Broncos’ defense. Engram runs downhill toward ball carriers, makes plays, hits hard, and is a defensive leader. He plays smart like Johnnie Simon and hits as hard as Mike Jones.
Although Loyola is a small school, it’s unsure why the two-star had offers from only UT and Eastern Illinois. Loyola groomed five-star Malik McDowell, among other standouts, and its clear Engram has similar talent, on a smaller scale, to dominate in the Mid-American Conference.
Going from one small school to another should benefit Engram, however, and he’s excited to turn WMU around on the field.
“I love the passion Coach Fleck displays for all of his players, and his program and staff as well,” Engram said. “We’re going to make something special happen at WMU, and I want to say I contributed to that and led those guys.”
Engram will study engineering when he enrolls next year at WMU.
Check out his highlights:
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